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P  F   CO 

'    YORK 

HORRORS    OF    01  TR  VGE 
'HE    HANDS    (M      ITS    WARRIORS 





P  F   COLLIER   &    SON 

Copyright  1910 
By  P.  F   Collier  &  Son 




THE  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century  was 
a  time  of  audacious  enterprises  and  strange 
vicissitudes  of  fortune.  Whilst  Western  Europe  in 
turn  submitted  and  struggled  against  a  sub-lieuten- 
ant who  made  himself  an  emperor,  who  at  his 
pleasure  made  kings  and  destroyed  kingdoms,  the 
ancient  eastern  part  of  the  Continent,  like  mummies 
which  preserve  but  the  semblance  of  life,  was  grad- 
ually tumbling  to  pieces,  and  getting  parcelled  out 
amongst  bold  adventurers  who  skirmished  over  its 
ruins.  Without  mentioning  local  revolts  which  pro- 
duced only  short-lived  struggles  and  trifling  changes 
of  administration,  such  as  that  of  Djezzar  Pacha, 
who  refused  to  pay  tribute  because  he  thought  him- 
self impregnable  in  his  citadel  of  Saint- Jean-d'Acre, 
or  that  of  Passevend-Oglou  Pacha,  who  planted 
himself  on  the  walls  of  Widdin  as  defender  of  the 
janissaries  against  the  institution  of  the  regular 
militia  decreed  by  Sultan  Selim  at  Stamboul,  there 
were  wider  spread  rebellions  which  attacked  the 

1— Dumas— Vol.  7  2II7 


constitution  of  the  Turkish  Empire  and  diminished 
its  extent;  amongst  them  that  of  Czerni-Georges, 
which  raised  Servia  to  the  position  of  a  free  state; 
of  Mahomet  Ali,  who  made  his  pachalik  of  Egypt 
into  a  kingdom;  and  finally  that  of  the  man  whose 
history  we  are  about  to  narrate,  Ali  Tepeleni,  Pacha 
of  Janina,  whose  long  resistance  to  the  suzerain 
power  preceded  and  brought  about  the  regeneration 
of  Greece. 

Ali's  own  will  counted  for  nothing  in  this  import- 
ant movement.  He  foresaw  it,  but  without  ever 
seeking  to  aid  it,  and  was  powerless  to  arrest  it. 
He  was  not  one  of  those  men  who  place  their  lives 
and  services  at  the  disposal  of  any  cause  indiscrim- 
inately ;  and  his  sole  aim  was  to  acquire  and  increase 
a  power  of  which  he  was  both  the  guiding  influence 
and  the  end  and  object.  His  nature  contained  the 
seeds  of  every  human  passion,  and  he  devoted  all 
his  long  life  to  their  development  and  gratification. 
This  explains  his  whole  temperament;  his  actions 
were  merely  the  natural  outcome  of  his  character 
confronted  with  circumstances.  Few  men  have 
understood  themselves  better  or  been  on  better 
terms  with  the  orbit  of  their  existence,  and  as  the 
personality  of  an  individual  is  all  the  more  striking 
in  proportion  as  it  reflects  the  manners  and  ideas 
of  the  time  and  country  in  which  he  has  lived,  so 
the  figure  of  Ali  Pacha  stands  out,  if  not  one  of  the 



most  brilliant,  at  least  one  of  the  most  singular  in 
contemporary  history. 

From  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  Tur- 
key had  been  a  prey  to  the  political  gangrene  of 
which  she  is  vainly  trying  to  cure  herself  to-day, 
and  which,  before  long,  will  dismember  her  in  the 
sight  of  all  Europe.  Anarchy  and  disorder  reigned 
from  one  end  of  the  empire  to  the  other.  The  Os- 
manli  race,  bred  on  conquest  alone,  proved  good 
for  nothing  when  conquest  failed.  It  naturally 
therefore  came  to  pass  when  Sobieski,  who  saved 
Christianity  under  the  walls  of  Vienna,  as  before 
his  time  Charles  Martel  had  saved  it  on  the  plains 
of  Poitiers,  had  set  bounds  to  the  wave  of  Mussul- 
man westward  invasion,  and  definitely  fixed  a  limit 
which  it  should  not  pass,  that  the  Osmanli  warlike 
instincts  recoiled  upon  themselves.  The  haughty 
descendants  of  Ortogrul,  who  considered  them- 
selves born  to  command,  seeing  victory  forsake 
them,  fell  back  upon  tyranny.  Vainly  did  reason 
expostulate  that  oppression  could  not  long  be  exer- 
cised by  hands  which  had  lost  their  strength,  and 
that  peace  imposed  new  and  different  labours  on 
those  who  no  longer  triumphed  in  war ;  they  would 
listen  to  nothing ;  and,  as  fatalistic  when  condemned 
to  a  state  of  peace  as  when  they  marched  forth  con- 
quering and  to  conquer,  they  cowered  down  in  mag- 
nificent listlessness,  leaving  the  whole  burden  of 



their  support  on  conquered  peoples.  Like  ignorant 
farmers,  who  exhaust  fertile  fields  by  forcing  crops, 
they  rapidly  ruined  their  vast  and  rich  empire  by 
exorbitant  exactions.  Inexorable  conquerors  and 
insatiable  masters,  with  one  hand  they  flogged  their 
slaves  and  with  the  other  plundered  them.  Nothing 
was  superior  to  their  insolence,  nothing  on  a  level 
with  their  greed.  They  were  never  glutted,  and 
never  relaxed  their  extortions.  But  in  proportion 
as  their  needs  increased  on  the  one  hand,  so  did 
their  resources  diminish  on  the  other.  Their  op- 
pressed subjects  soon  found  that  they  must  escape 
at  any  cost  from  oppressors  whom  they  could  nei- 
their  appease  nor  satisfy.  Each  population  took  the 
steps  best  suited  to  its  position  and  character;  some 
chose  inertia,  others  violence.  The  inhabitants  of 
the  plains,  powerless  and  shelterless,  bent  like  reeds 
before  the  storm  and  evaded  the  shock  against  which 
they  were  unable  to  stand.  The  mountaineers 
planted  themselves  like  rocks  in  a  torrent,  and 
dammed  its  course  with  all  their  might.  On  both 
sides  arose  a  determined  resistance,  different  in 
method,  similar  in  result.  In  the  case  of  the  peas- 
ants labour  came  to  a  stand-still;  in  that  of  the  hill 
folk  open  war  broke  out.  The  grasping  exactions 
of  the  tyrant  dominant  body  produced  nothing  from 
waste  lands  and  armed  mountaineers;  destitution 
and  revolt  were  equally  beyond  their  power  to  cope 



with;  and  all  that  was  left  for  tyranny  to  govern 
was  a  desert  enclosed  by  a  wall. 

But,  all  the  same,  the  wants  of  a  magnificent 
sultan,  descendant  of  the  Prophet  and  distributor 
of  crowns,  must  be  supplied;  and  to  do  this,  the 
Sublime  Porte  needed  money.  Unconsciously  imi- 
tating the  Roman  Senate,  the  Turkish  Divan  put 
up  the  empire  for  sale  by  public  auction.  All  em- 
ployments were  sold  to  the  highest  bidder;  pachas, 
beys,  cadis,  ministers  of  every  rank,  and  clerks  of 
every  class  had  to  buy  their  posts  from  their  sov- 
ereign and  get  the  money  back  out  of  his  subjects. 
They  spent  their  money  in  the  capital,  and  recuper- 
ated themselves  in  the  provinces.  And  as  there  was 
no  other  law  than  their  master's  pleasure,  so  there 
was  no  other  guarantee  than  his  caprice.  They  had 
therefore  to  set  quickly  to  work;  the  post  might  be 
lost  before  its  cost  had  been  recovered.  Thus  all 
the  science  of  administration  resolved  itself  into 
plundering  as  much  and  as  quickly  as  possible.  To 
this  end,  the  delegate  of  imperial  power  delegated 
in  his  turn,  on  similar  conditions,  other  agents  to 
seize  for  him  and  for  themselves  all  they  could  lay 
their  hands  on;  so  that  the  inhabitants  of  the  empire 
might  be  divided  into  three  classes — those  who  were 
striving  to  seize  everything ;  those  who  were  trying  to 
save  a  little;  and  those  who,  having  nothing  and 
hoping  for  nothing,  took  no  interest  in  affairs  at  all 



Albania  was  one  of  the  most  difficult  provinces 
to  manage.  Its  inhabitants  were  poor,  brave,  and 
the  nature  of  the  country  was  mountainous  and 
inaccessible.  The  pachas  had  great  difficulty  in 
collecting  tribute,  because  the  people  were  given  to 
fighting  for  their  bread.  Whether  Mahomedans 
or  Christians,  the  Albanians  were  above  all  sol- 
diers. Descended  on  the  one  side  from  the  uncon- 
querable Scythians,  on  the  other  from  the  ancient 
Macedonians,  not  long  since  masters  of  the  world; 
crossed  with  Norman  adventurers  brought  east- 
wards by  the  great  movement  of  the  Crusades;  they 
felt  the  blood  of  warriors  flow  in  their  veins,  and 
that  war  was  their  element.  Sometimes  at  feud 
with  one  another,  canton  against  canton,  village 
against  village,  often  even  house  against  house; 
sometimes  rebelling  against  the  government  of 
their  sanjaks;  sometimes  in  league  with  these 
against  the  sultan;  they  never  rested  from  combat 
except  in  an  armed  peace.  Each  tribe  had  its  mili- 
tary organisation,  each  family  its  fortified  strong- 
hold, each  man  his  gun  on  his  shoulder.  When 
they  had  nothing  better  to  do,  they  tilled  their 
fields,  or  mowed  their  neighbours',  carrying  off,  it 
should  be  noted,  the  crop;  or  pastured  their 
flocks,  watching  the  opportunity  to  trespass  over 
pasture  limits.  This  was  the  normal  and  regular 
life  of  the  population  of  Epirus,  Thesprotia,  Thes- 



saly,  and  Upper  Albania.  Lower  Albania,  less 
strong,  was  also  less  active  and  bold;  and  there,  as 
in  many  other  parts  of  Turkey,  the  dalesman  was 
often  the  prey  of  the  mountaineer.  It  was  in  the 
mountain  districts  where  were  preserved  the  recol- 
lections of  Scander  Beg,  and  where  the  manners 
of  ancient  Laconia  prevailed ;  the  deeds  of  the  brave 
soldier  were  sung  on  the  lyre,  and  the  skilful  robber 
quoted  as  an  example  to  the  children  by  the  father 
of  the  family.  Village  feasts  were  held  on  the 
booty  taken  from  strangers ;  and  the  favourite  dish 
was  always  a  stolen  sheep.  Every  man  was 
esteemed  in  proportion  to  his  skill  and  courage, 
and  a  man's  chances  of  making  a  good  match  were 
greatly  enhanced  when  he  acquired  the  reputation 
of  being  an  agile  mountaineer  and  a  good  bandit. 

The  Albanians  proudly  called  this  anarchy  lib- 
erty, and  religiously  guarded  a  state  of  disorder 
bequeathed  by  their  ancestors,  which  always  assured 
the  first  place  to  the  most  valiant. 

It  was  amidst  men  and  manners  such  as  these 
that  AH  Tepeleni  was  born.  He  boasted  that  he 
belonged  to  the  conquering  race,  and  that  he 
descended  from  an  ancient  Anatolian  family  which 
had  crossed  into  Albania  with  the  troops  of  Bajazet 
Ilderim.  But  it  is  made  certain  by  the  learned 
researches  of  M.  de  Pouqueville  that  he  sprang 
from  a  native  stock,  and  not  an  Asiatic  one,  as  he 



pretended.  His  ancestors  were  Christian  Skipe- 
tars,  who  became  Mussulmans  after  the  Turkish 
invasion,  and  his  ancestry  certainly  cannot  be  traced 
farther  back  than  the  end  of  the  sixteenth  century. 

Mouktar  Tepeleni,  his  grandfather,  perished  in 
the  Turkish  expedition  against  Corfu,  in  1716. 
Marshal  Schullemburg,  who  defended  the  island, 
having  repulsed  the  enemy  with  loss,  took  Mouktar 
prisoner  on  Mount  San  Salvador,  where  he  was 
in  charge  of  a  signalling  party,  and  with  a  bar- 
barity worthy  of  his  adversaries,  hung  him  without 
trial.  It  must  be  admitted  that  the  memory  of  this 
murder  must  have  had  the  effect  of  rendering  Ali 
badly  disposed  towards  Christians. 

Mouktar  left  three  sons,  two  of  whom,  Salik  and 
Mahomet,  were  born  of  the  same  mother,  a  lawful 
wife,  but  the  mother  of  the  youngest,  Veli,  was  a 
slave.  His  origin  was  no  legal  bar  to  his  succeed- 
ing like  his  brothers.  The  family  was  one  of  the 
richest  in  the  town  of  Tepelen,  whose  name  it  bore; 
it  enjoyed  an  income  of  six  thousand  piastres,  equal 
to  twenty  thousand  francs.  This  was  a  large  for- 
tune in  a  poor  country,  where  all  commodities  were 
cheap.  But  the  Tepeleni  family,  holding  the  rank 
of  beys,  had  to  maintain  a  state  like  that  of  the  great 
financiers  of  feudal  Europe.  They  had  to  keep  up 
a  large  stud  of  horses,  with  a  great  retinue  of  ser- 
vants and  men-at-arms,  and  consequently  to  incur 


heavy  expenses;  thus  they  constantly  found  their 
revenue  inadequate.  The  most  natural  means  of 
raising  it  which  occurred  to  them  was  to  diminish 
the  number  of  those  who  shared  it;  therefore  the 
two  elder  brothers,  sons  of  the  wife,  combined 
against  Veli,  the  son  of  the  slave,  and  drove  him 
out  of  the  house.  The  latter,  forced  to  leave  home, 
bore  his  fate  like  a  brave  man,  and  determined  to 
levy  exactions  on  others  to  compensate  him  for  the 
losses  incurred  through  his  brothers.  He  became  a 
freebooter,  patrolling  highroads  and  lanes,  with  his 
gun  on  his  shoulder  and  his  yataghan  in  his  belt, 
attacking,  holding  for  ransom,  or  plundering  all 
whom  he  encountered. 

After  some  years  of  this  profitable  business,  he 
found  himself  a  wealthy  man  and  chief  of  a  war- 
like band.  Judging  that  the  moment  for  vengeance 
had  arrived,  he  marched  for  Tepelen,  which  he 
reached  unsuspected,  crossed  the  river  Vojutza,  the 
ancient  Aous,  penetrated  the  streets  unresisted,  and 
presented  himself  before  the  paternal  house,  in 
which  his  brothers,  forewarned,  had  barricaded 
themselves.  He  at  once  besieged  them,  soon  forced 
the  gates,  and  pursued  them  to  a  tent,  in  which  they 
took  a  final  refuge.  He  surrounded  this  tent, 
waited  till  they  were  inside  it,  and  then  set  fire  to 
the  four  corners.  "  See,"  said  he  to  those  around 
him,  "  they  cannot  accuse  me  of  vindictive  repri- 



sals ;  my  brothers  drove  me  out  of  doors,  and  I  retal- 
iate by  keeping  them  at  home  for  ever." 

In  a  few  moments  he  was  his  father's  sole  heir 
and  master  of  Tepelen.  Arrived  at  the  summit  of 
his  ambition,  he  gave  up  freebooting,  and  estab- 
lished himself  in  the  town,  of  which  he  became  chief 
aga.  He  had  already  a  son  by  a  slave,  who  soon 
presented  him  with  another  son,  and  afterwards 
with  a  daughter,  so  that  he  had  no  reason  to  fear 
dying  without  an  heir.  But  finding  himself  rich 
enough  to  maintain  more  wives  and  bring  up  many 
children,  he  desired  to  increase  his  credit  by  allying 
himself  to  some  great  family  of  the  country.  He 
therefore  solicited  and  obtained  the  hand  of  Kamco, 
daughter  of  a  bey  of  Conitza.  This  marriage 
attached  him  by  the  ties  of  relationship  to  the  prin- 
cipal families  of  the  province,  among  others  to 
Kourd  Pacha,  Vizier  of  Berat,  who  was  descended 
from  the  illustrious  race  of  Scander  Beg.  After  a 
few  years,  Veli  had  by  his  new  wife  a  son  named 
Ali,  the  subject  of  this  history,  and  a  daughter 
named  Chalnitza. 

In  spite  of  his  intentions  to  reform,  Veli  could 
not  entirely  give  up  his  old  habits.  Although  his 
fortune  placed  him  altogether  above  small  gains  and 
losses,  he  continued  to  amuse  himself  by  raiding 
from  time  to  time  sheep,  goats,  and  other  perqui- 
sites, probably  to  keep  his  hand  in.     This  innocent 



exercise  of  his  taste  was  not  to  the  fancy  of  his 
neighbours,  and  brawls  and  fights  recommenced  in 
fine  style.  Fortune  did  not  always  favour  him, 
and  the  old  mountaineer  lost  in  the  town  part  of 
what  he  had  made  on  the  hills.  Vexations  soured 
his  temper  and  injured  his  health.  Notwithstand- 
ing the  injunctions  of  Mahomet,  he  sought  conso- 
lation in  wine,  which  soon  closed  his  career.  He 
died  in  1754. 



A  LI  thus  at  thirteen  years  of  age  was  free  to 
indulge  in  the  impetuosity  of  his  character. 
From  his  early  youth  he  had  manifested  a  mettle 
and  activity  rare  in  young  Turks,  haughty  by  nature 
and  self-restrained  by  education.  Scarcely  out  of 
the  nursery,  he  spent  his  time  in  climbing  moun- 
tains, wandering  through  forests,  scaling  preci- 
pices, rolling  in  snow,  inhaling  the  wind,  defying 
the  tempests,  breathing  out  his  nervous  energy 
through  every  pore.  Possibly  he  learnt  in  the  midst 
of  every  kind  of  danger  to  brave  everything  and 
subdue  everything;  possibly  in  sympathy  with  the 
majesty  of  nature  he  felt  aroused  in  him  a  need  of 
personal  grandeur  which  nothing  could  satiate.  In 
vain  his  father  sought  to  calm  his  savage  temper 
and  restrain  his  vagabond  spirit;  nothing  was  of 
any  use.  As  obstinate  as  intractable,  he  set  at  defi- 
ance all  efforts  and  all  precautions.  If  they  shut 
him  up,  he  broke  the  door  or  jumped  out  of  the  win- 
dow; if  they  threatened  him,  he  pretended  to  com- 
ply, conquered  by  fear,  and  promised  everything 
that  was  required,  but  only  to  break  his  word  the 



first  opportunity.  He  had  a  tutor  specially  attached 
to  his  person  and  charged  to  supervise  all  his 
actions.  He  constantly  deluded  him  by  fresh  tricks, 
and  when  he  thought  himself  free  from  the  conse- 
quences, he  maltreated  him  with  gross  violence.  It 
was  only  in  his  youth,  after  his  father's  death,  that 
he  became  more  manageable;  he  even  consented  to 
learn  to  read,  to  please  his  mother,  whose  idol  he 
was,  and  to  whom  in  return  he  gave  all  his  affection. 

If  Kamco  had  so  strong  a  liking  for  Ali,  it  was 
because  she  found  in  him,  not  only  her  blood,  but 
also  her  character.  During  the  lifetime  of  her  hus- 
band, whom  she  feared,  she  seemed  only  an  ordinary 
woman ;  but  as  soon  as  his  eyes  were  closed,  she 
gave  free  scope  to  the  violent  passions  which  agi- 
tated her  bosom.  Ambitious,  bold,  vindictive,  she 
assiduously  cultivated  the  germs  of  ambition,  hardi- 
hood, and  vengeance  which  already  strongly  showed 
themselves  in  the  young  Ali.  "  My  son,"  she  was 
never  tired  of  telling  him,  "  he  who  cannot  defend 
his  patrimony  richly  deserves  to  lose  it.  Remember 
that  the  property  of  others  is  only  theirs  so  long  as 
they  are  strong  enough  to  keep  it,  and  that  when 
you  find  yourself  strong  enough  to  take  it  from 
them,  it  is  yours.  Success  justifies  everything,  and 
everything  is  permissible  to  him  who  has  the  power 
to  do  it." 

Ali,  when  he  reached  the  zenith  of  his  greatness, 


used  to  declare  that  his  success  was  entirely  his 
mother's  work.  "  I  owe  everything  to  my  mother," 
he  said  one  day  to  the  French  Consul ;  "  for  my 
father,  when  he  died,  left  me  nothing  but  a  den  of 
wild  beasts  and  a  few  fields.  My  imagination,  in- 
flamed by  the  counsels  of  her  who  has  given  me 
life  twice  over,  since  she  has  made  me  both  a  man 
and  a  vizier,  revealed  to  me  the  secret  of  my  des- 
tiny. Thenceforward  I  saw  nothing  in  Tepelen 
but  the  natal  air  from  which  I  was  to  spring  on  the 
prey  which  I  devoured  mentally.  I  dreamt  of  noth- 
ing else  but  power,  treasures,  palaces,  in  short  what 
time  has  realised  and  still  promises ;  for  the  point  I 
have  now  reached  is  not  the  limit  of  my  hopes." 

Kamco  did  not  confine  herself  to  words;  she 
employed  every  means  to  increase  the  fortune  of 
her  beloved  son  and  to  make  him  a  power.  Her 
first  care  was  to  poison  the  children  of  Veli's  favour- 
ite slave,  who  had  died  before  him.  Then,  at  ease 
about  the  interior  of  her  family,  she  directed  her 
attention  to  the  exterior.  Renouncing  all  the  habits 
of  her  sex,  she  abandoned  the  veil  and  the  distaff, 
and  took  up  arms,  under  pretext  of  maintaining  the 
rights  of  her  children.  She  collected  round  her  her 
husband's  old  partisans,  whom  she  attached  to  her 
service,  some  by  presents,  others  by  various  favours, 
and  she  gradually  enlisted  all  the  lawless  and  adven- 
turous men  in  Toscaria.    With  their  aid,  she  made 



herself  all  powerful  in  Tepelen,  and  inflicted  the 
most  rigorous  persecutions  on  such  as  remained 
hostile  to  her. 

But  the  inhabitants  of  the  two  adjacent  villages, 
Kormovo  and  Kardiki,  fearing  lest  this  terrible 
woman,  aided  by  her  son,  now  grown  into  a  man, 
should  strike  a  blow  against  their  independence, 
made  a  secret  alliance  against  her,  with  the  object 
of  putting  her  out  of  the  way  the  first  convenient 
opportunity.  Learning  one  day  that  Ali  had  started 
on  a  distant  expedition  with  his  best  soldiers,  they 
surprised  Tepelen  under  cover  of  night,  and  carried 
off  Kamco  and  her  daughter  Cha'initza  captives  to 
Kardiki.  It  was  proposed  to  put  them  to  death,  and 
sufficient  evidence  to  justify  their  execution  was 
not  wanting ;  but  their  beauty  saved  their  lives ;  their 
captors  preferred  to  revenge  themselves  by  licen- 
tiousness rather  than  by  murder.  Shut  up  all  day 
in  prison,  they  only  emerged  at  night  to  pass  into 
the  arms  of  the  men  who  had  won  them  by  lot  the 
previous  morning.  This  state  of  things  lasted  for 
a  month,  at  the  end  of  which  a  Greek  of  Argyro- 
Castron,  named  G.  Malicovo,  moved  by  compassion 
for  their  horrible  fate,  ransomed  them  for  twenty 
thousand  piastres,  and  took  them  back  to  Tepelen. 

Ali  had  just  returned.  He  was  accosted  by  his 
mother  and  sister,  pale  with  fatigue,  shame,  and 
rage.     They  told  him  what  had  taken  place,  with 



cries  and  tears,  and  Kamco  added,  fixing  her  dis- 
tracted eyes  upon  him,  "  My  son !  my  son !  my  soul 
will  enjoy  no  peace  till  Kormovo  and  Kardiki, 
destroyed  by  thy  scimitar,  will  no  longer  exist  to 
bear  witness  to  my  dishonour." 

Ali,  in  whom  this  sight  and  this  story  had  aroused 
sanguinary  passions,  promised  a  vengeance  pro- 
portioned to  the  outrage,  and  worked  with  all  his 
might  to  place  himself  in  a  position  to  keep  his  word. 
A  worthy  son  of  his  father,  he  had  commenced  life 
in  the  fashion  of  the  heroes  of  ancient  Greece,  steal- 
ing sheep  and  goats,  and  from  the  age  of  fourteen 
years  he  had  acquired  an  equal  reputation  to  that 
earned  by  the  son  of  Jupiter  and  Maia.  When  he 
grew  to  manhood,  he  extended  his  operations.  At 
the  time  of  which  we  are  speaking,  he  had  long 
practised  open  pillage.  His  plundering  expeditions, 
added  to  his  mother's  savings,  who  since  her  return 
from  Kardiki  had  altogether  withdrawn  from  pub- 
lic life,  and  devoted  herself  to  household  duties, 
enabled  him  to  collect  a  considerable  force  for  an 
expedition  against  Kormovo,  one  of  the  two  towns 
he  had  sworn  to  destroy.  He  marched  against  it 
at  the  head  of  his  banditti,  but  found  himself  vigor- 
ously opposed,  lost  part  of  his  force,  and  was  obliged 
to  save  himself  and  the  rest  by  flight.  He  did  not 
stop  till  he  reached  Tepelen,  where  he  had  a  warm 
reception  from  Kamco,  whose  thirst  for  vengeance 



had  been  disappointed  by  his  defeat.  "  Go !  "  said 
she,  "  go,  coward !  go  spin  with  the  women  in  the 
harem !  The  distaff  is  a  better  weapon  for  you  than 
the  scimitar !  "  The  young  man  answered  not  a 
word,  but,  deeply  wounded  by  these  reproaches, 
retired  to  hide  his  humiliation  in  the  bosom  of  his 
old  friend  the  mountain.  The  popular  legend, 
always  thirsting  for  the  marvellous  in  the  adven- 
tures of  heroes,  has  it  that  he  found  in  the  ruins  of  a 
church  a  treasure  which  enabled  him  to  reconstitute 
his  party.  But  he  himself  has  contradicted  this 
story,  stating  that  it  was  by  the  ordinary  methods 
of  rapine  and  plunder  that  he  replenished  his 
finances.  He  selected  from  his  old  band  of  brigands 
thirty  palikars,  and  entered,  as  their  bouloubachi,  or 
leader  of  the  group,  into  the  service  of  the  Pacha 
of  Negropont.  But  he  soon  tired  of  the  methodical 
life  he  was  obliged  to  lead,  and  passed  into  Thes- 
saly,  where,  following  the  example  of  his  father 
Veli,  he  employed  his  time  in  brigandage  on  the 
highways.  Thence  he  raided  the  Pindus  chain  of 
mountains,  plundered  a  great  number  of  villages, 
and  returned  to  Tepelen,  richer  and  consequently 
more  esteemed  than  ever. 

He  employed  his  fortune  and  influence  in  collect- 
ing a  formidable  guerilla  force,  and  resumed  his 
plundering  operations.  Kurd  Pacha  soon  found 
himself  compelled,  by  the  universal  outcry  of  the 



province,  to  take  active  measures  against  this  young 
brigand.  He  sent  against  him  a  division  of  troops, 
which  defeated  him  and  brought  him  prisoner  with 
his  men  to  Berat,  the  capital  of  Central  Albania 
and  residence  of  the  governor.  The  country  flat- 
tered itself  that  at  length  it  was  freed  from  its 
scourge.  The  whole  body  of  bandits  was  con- 
demned to  death ;  but  Ali  was  not  the  man  to  sur- 
render his  life  so  easily.  Whilst  they  were  hanging 
his  comrades,  he  threw  himself  at  the  feet  of  the 
pacha  and  begged  for  mercy  in  the  name  of  his 
parents,  excusing  himself  on  account  of  his  youth, 
and  promising  a  lasting  reform.  The  pacha,  seeing 
at  his  feet  a  comely  youth,  with  fair  hair  and  blue 
eyes,  a  persuasive  voice,  and  eloquent  tongue,  and 
in  whose  veins  flowed  the  same  blood  as  his  own, 
was  moved  with  pity  and  pardoned  him.  Ali  got 
off  with  a  mild  captivity  in  the  palace  of  his  power- 
ful relative,  who  heaped  benefits  upon  him,  and  did 
all  he  could  to  lead  him  into  the  paths  of  probity. 
He  appeared  amenable  to  these  good  influences,  and 
bitterly  to  repent  his  past  errors.  After  some  years, 
believing  in  his  reformation,  and  moved  by  the 
prayers  of  Kamco,  who  incessantly  implored  the 
restitution  of  her  dear  son,  the  generous  pacha 
restored  him  his  liberty,  only  giving  him  to  under- 
stand that  he  had  no  more  mercy  to  expect  if  he 
again  disturbed  the  public  peace.     Ali  taking  the 



threat  seriously,  did  not  run  the  risk  of  braving-  it, 
and,  on  the  contrary,  did  all  he  could  to  conciliate 
the  man  whose  anger  he  dared  not  kindle.  Not  only 
did  he  keep  the  promise  he  had  made  to  live  quietly, 
but  by  his  good  conduct  he  caused  his  former  esca- 
pades to  be  forgotten,  putting  under  obligation  all 
his  neighbours,  and  attaching  to  himself,  through 
the  services  he  rendered  them,  a  great  number  of 
friendly  disposed  persons.  In  this  manner  he  soon 
assumed  a  distinguished  and  honourable  rank 
among  the  beys  of  the  country,  and  being  of  mar- 
riageable age,  he  sought  and  formed  an  alliance 
with  the  daughter  of  Capelan  Tigre,  Pacha  of  Del- 
vino,  who  resided  at  Argyro-Castron.  This  union, 
happy  on  both  sides,  gave  him,  with  one  of  the  most 
accomplished  women  in  Epirus,  a  high  position  and 
great  influence. 

It  seemed  as  if  this  marriage  were  destined  to 
wean  Ali  for  ever  from  his  former  turbulent  habits 
and  wild  adventures. .  But  the  family  into  which  he 
had  married  afforded  violent  contrasts  and  equal 
elements  of  good  and  mischief.  If  Emineh,  his 
wife,  was  a  model  of  virtue,  his  father-in-law,  Cape- 
lan, was  a  composition  of  every  vice — selfish,  ambi- 
tious, turbulent,  fierce.  Confident  in  his  courage, 
and  further  emboldened  by  his  remoteness  from  the 
capital,  the  Pacha  of  Delvino  gloried  in  setting  law 
and  authority  at  defiance. 



Ali's  disposition  was  too  much  like  that  of  his 
father-in-law  to  prevent  him  from  taking  his  meas- 
ure very  quickly.  He  soon  got  on  good  terms  with 
him,  and  entered  into  his  schemes,  waiting  for  an 
opportunity  to  denounce  him  and  become  his  suc- 
cessor. For  this  opportunity  he  had  not  long  to 

Capelan's  object  in  giving  his  daughter  to  Tepe- 
leni  was  to  enlist  him  among  the  beys  of  the 
province  to  gain  independence,  the  ruling  passion 
of  viziers.  The  cunning  young  man  pretended 
to  enter  into  the  views  of  his  father-in-law, 
and  did  all  he  could  to  urge  him  into  the  path  of 

An  adventurer  named  Stephano  Piccolo,  an  emis- 
sary of  Russia,  had  just  raised  in  Albania  the  stan- 
dard of  the  Cross  and  called  to  arms  all  the  Chris- 
tians of  the  Acroceraunian  Mountains.  The  Divan 
sent  orders  to  all  the  pachas  of  Northern  Turkey 
in  Europe  to  instantly  march  against  the  insurgents 
and  quell  the  rising  in  blood. 

Instead  of  obeying  the  orders  of  the  Divan  and 
joining  Kurd  Pacha,  who  had  summoned  him, 
Capelan,  at  the  instigation  of  his  son-in-law,  did  all 
he  could  to  embarrass  the  movement  of  the  imperial 
troops,  and  without  openly  making  common  cause 
with  the  insurgents,  he  rendered  them  substantial 
aid  in  their  resistance.     They  were,  notwithstand- 



ing,  conquered  and  dispersed;  and  their  chief,  Ste- 
phano  Piccolo,  had  to  take  refuge  in  the  unexplored 
caves  of  Montenegro. 

When  the  struggle  was  over,  Capelan,  as  Ali  had 
foreseen,  was  summoned  to  give  an  account  of  his 
conduct  before  the  roumeli-valicy,  supreme  judge 
over  Turkey  in  Europe.  He  was  not  only  accused 
of  the  gravest  offences,  but  proofs  of  them  were 
forwarded  to  the  Divan  by  the  very  man  who  had 
instigated  them.  There  could  be  no  doubt  as  to  the 
result  of  the  inquiry;  therefore,  the  pacha,  who  had 
no  suspicions  of  his  son-in-law's  duplicity,  deter- 
mined not  to  leave  his  pachalik.  That  was  not 
in  accordance  with  the  plans  of  Ali,  who  wished  to 
succeed  to  both  the  government  and  the  wealth  of 
his  father-in-law.  He  accordingly  made  the  most 
plausible  remonstrances  against  the  inefficacy  and 
danger  of  such  a  resistance.  To  refuse  to  plead 
was  tantamount  to  a  confession  of  guilt,  and  was 
certain  to  bring  on  his  head  a  storm  against  which 
he  was  powerless  to  cope,  whilst  if  he  obeyed  the 
orders  of  the  roumeli-valicy  he  would  find  it  easy 
to  excuse  himself.  To  give  more  effect  to  his  per- 
fidious advice,  Ali  further  employed  the  innocent 
Emineh,  who  was  easily  alarmed  on  her  father's 
account.  Overcome  by  the  reasoning  of  his  son-in- 
law  and  the  tears  of  his  daughter,  the  unfortunate 
pacha  consented  to  go  to  Monastir,  where  he  had 



been  summoned  to  appear,  and  where  he  was  imme- 
diately arrested  and  beheaded. 

Ali's  schemes  had  succeeded,  but  both  his  ambition 
and  his  cupidity  were  frustrated.  Ali,  Bey  of 
Argyro-Castron,  who  had  throughout  shown  him- 
self devoted  to  the  sultan,  was  nominated  Pacha 
of  Delvino  in  place  of  Capelan.  He  sequestered  all 
the  property  of  his  predecessor,  as  confiscated  to 
the  sultan,  and  thus  deprived  Ali  Tepeleni  of  all  the 
fruits  of  his  crime. 

This  disappointment  kindled  the  wrath  of  the 
ambitious  Ali.  He  swore  vengeance  for  the  spolia- 
tion of  which  he  considered  himself  the  victim.  But 
the  moment  was  not  favourable  for  putting  his  pro- 
jects in  train.  The  murder  of  Capelan,  which  its 
perpetrator  intended  for  a  mere  crime,  proved  a 
huge  blunder.  The  numerous  enemies  of  Tepeleni, 
silent  under  the  administration  of  the  late  pacha, 
whose  resentment  they  had  cause  to  fear,  soon  made 
common  cause  under  the  new  one,  for  whose  support 
they  had  hopes.  Ali  saw  the  danger,  sought  and 
found  the  means  to  obviate  it.  He  succeeded  in 
making  a  match  between  Ali  of  Argyro-Castron, 
who  was  unmarried,  and  Chainitza,  his  own  sister. 
This  alliance  secured  to  him  the  government  of 
Tigre,  which  he  held  under  Capelan.  But  that  was 
not  sufficient.  He  must  put  himself  in  a  state  of 
security  against  the  dangers  he  had  lately  experi- 



enced,  and  establish  himself  on  a  firm  footing 
against  possible  accidents.  He  soon  formed  a  plan, 
which  he  himself  described  to  the  French  Consul 
in  the  following  words: — 

"  Years  were  elapsing,"  said  he,  "  and  brought 
no  important  change  in  my  position.  I  was  an 
important  partisan,  it  is  true,  and  strongly  sup- 
ported, but  I  held  no  title  or  Government  employ- 
ment of  my  own.  I  recognised  the  necessity  of 
establishing  myself  firmly  in  my  birthplace.  I  had 
devoted  friends,  and  formidable  foes,  bent  on  my 
destruction,  whom  I  must  put  out  of  the  way,  for 
my  own  safety.  I  set  about  a  plan  for  destroying 
them  at  one  blow,  and  ended  by  devising  one  with 
which  I  ought  to  have  commenced  my  career.  Had 
I  done  so,  I  should  have  saved  much  time  and  pains. 

"  I  was  in  the  habit  of  going  every  day,  after 
hunting,  for  a  siesta  in  a  neighbouring  wood.  A 
confidential  servant  of  mine  suggested  to  my  ene- 
mies the  idea  of  surprising  me  and  assassinating 
me  there.  I  myself  supplied  the  plan  of  the  con- 
spiracy, which  was  adopted.  On  the  day  agreed 
upon,  I  preceded  my  adversaries  to  the  place  where 
I  was  accustomed  to  repose,  and  caused  a  goat  to 
be  pinioned  and  muzzled,  and  fastened  under  the 
tree,  covered  with  my  cape;  I  then  returned  home 
by  a  roundabout  path.  Soon  after  I  had  left,  the 
conspirators  arrived,  and  fired  a  volley  at  the  goat. 



They  ran  up  to  make  certain  of  my  death,  but  were 
interrupted  by  a  piquet  of  my  men,  who  unexpect- 
edly emerged  from  a  copse  where  I  had  posted  them, 
and  they  were  obliged  to  return  to  Tepelen,  which 
they  entered,  riotous  with  joy,  crying  '  Ali  Bey  is 
dead,  now  we  are  free ! '  This  news  reached  my 
harem,  and  I  heard  the  cries  of  my  mother  and  my 
wife  mingled  with  the  shouts  of  my  enemies.  I 
allowed  the  commotion  to  run  its  course  and  reach 
its  height,  so  as  to  indicate  which  were  my  friends 
and  which  my  foes.  But  when  the  former  were  at 
the  depth  of  their  distress  and  the  latter  at  the 
height  of  their  joy,  and,  exulting  in  their  supposed 
victory,  had  drowned  their  prudence  and  their  cour- 
age in  floods  of  wine,  then,  strong  in  the  justice 
of  my  cause,  I  appeared  upon  the  scene.  Now  was 
the  time  for  my  friends  to  triumph  and  for  my  foes 
to  tremble.  I  set  to  work  at  the  head  of  my  par- 
tisans, and  before  sunrise  had  exterminated  the  last 
of  my  enemies.  I  distributed  their  lands,  their 
houses,  and  their  goods  amongst  my  followers,  and 
from  that  moment  I  could  call  the  town  of  Tepelen 
my  own." 

A  less  ambitious  man  might  perhaps  have  re- 
mained satisfied  with  such  a  result.  But  Ali  did 
not  look  upon  the  suzerainty  of  a  canton  as  a  final 
object,  but  only  as  a  means  to  an  end;  and  he  had 
not  made  himself  master  of  Tepelen  to  limit  him- 



self  to  a  petty  state,  but  to  employ  it  as  a  base  of 

He  had  allied  himself  to  Ali  of  Argyro-Castron 
to  get  rid  of  his  enemies;  once  free  from  them,  he 
began  to  plot  against  his  supplanter.  He  forgot 
neither  his  vindictive  projects  nor  his  ambitious 
schemes.  As  prudent  in  execution  as  bold  in  de- 
sign, he  took  good  care  not  to  openly  attack  a  man 
stronger  than  himself,  and  gained  by  stratagem 
what  he  could  not  obtain  by  violence.  The  honest 
and  straightforward  character  of  his  brother-in- 
law  afforded  an  easy  success  to  his  perfidy.  He 
began  by  endeavouring  to  suborn  his  sister  Cha'i- 
nitza,  and  several  times  proposed  to  her  to  poison 
her  husband;  but  she,  who  dearly  loved  the  pacha, 
who  was  a  kind  husband  and  to  whom  she  had 
borne  two  children,  repulsed  his  suggestions  with 
horror,  and  threatened,  if  he  persisted,  to  denounce 
him.  Ali,  fearing  the  consequences  if  she  carried 
out  her  threat,  begged  forgiveness  for  his  wicked 
plans,  pretended  deep  repentance,  and  spoke  of  his 
brother-in-law  in  terms  of  the  warmest  affection. 
His  acting  was  so  consummate  that  even  Chainitza, 
who  well  knew  her  brother's  subtle  character,  was 
deceived  by  it.  When  he  saw  that  she  was  his  dupe, 
knowing  that  he  had  nothing  more  either  to  fear 
or  to  hope  for  from  that  side,  he  directed  his  atten- 
tion to  another. 



The  pacha  had  a  brother  named  Soliman,  whose 
character  nearly  resembled  that  of  Tepeleni.  The 
latter,  after  having  for  some  time  quietly  studied 
him,  thought  he  discerned  in  him  the  man  he 
wanted;  he  tempted  him  to  kill  the  pacha,  offering 
him,  as  the  price  of  this  crime,  his  whole  inherit- 
ance and  the  hand  of  Cha'initza,  only  reserving  for 
himself  the  long  coveted  sanjak.  Soliman  accepted 
the  proposals,  and  the  fratricidal  bargain  was  con- 
cluded. The  two  conspirators,  sole  masters  of  the 
secret,  the  horrible  nature  of  which  guaranteed 
their  mutual  fidelity,  and  having  free  access  to 
the  person  of  their  victim,  could  not  fail  in  their 

One  day,  when  they  were  both  received  by  the 
pacha  in  private  audience,  Soliman,  taking  advan- 
tage of  a  moment  when  he  was  unobserved,  drew  a 
pistol  from  his  belt  and  blew  out  his  brother's 
brains.  Cha'initza  ran  at  the  sound,  and  saw  her 
husband  lying  dead  between  her  brother  and  her 
brother-in-law.  Her  cries  for  help  were  stopped  by 
threats  of  death  if  she  moved  or  uttered  a  sound. 
As  she  lay,  fainting  with  grief  and  terror,  Ali  made 
a  sign  to  Soliman,  who  covered  her  with  his  cloak, 
and  declared  her  his  wife.  AH  pronounced  the  mar- 
riage concluded,  and  retired  for  it  to  be  consum- 
mated. Thus  was  celebrated  this  frightful  wedding, 
in  the  scene  of  an  awful  crime,  beside  the  corpse  of 



a  man  who  a  moment  before  had  been  the  husband 
of  the  bride  and  the  brother  of  the  bridegroom. 

The  assassins  published  the  death  of  the  pacha, 
attributing  it,  as  is  usual  in  Turkey,  to  a  fit  of  cere- 
bral apoplexy.  But  the  truth  soon  leaked  out  from 
the  lying  shrouds  in  which  it  had  been  wrapped. 
Reports  even  exceeded  the  truth,  and  public  opinion 
implicated  Chainitza  in  a  crime  of  which  she  had 
been  but  the  witness.  Appearances  certainly  jus- 
tified these  suspicions.  The  young  wife  had  soon 
consoled  herself  in  the  arms  of  her  second  husband 
for  the  loss  of  the  first,  and  her  son  by  him  pres- 
ently died  suddenly,  thus  leaving  Soliman  in  lawful 
and  peaceful  possession  of  all  his  brother's  wealth. 
As  for  the  little  girl,  as  she  had  no  rights  and  could 
hurt  no  one,  her  life  was  spared,  and  she  was  even- 
tually married  to  a  bey  of  Cleisoura,  destined  in 
the  sequel  to  cut  a  tragic  figure  in  the  history  of  the 
Tepeleni  family. 

But  AH  was  once  more  deprived  of  the  fruit  of 
his  bloody  schemes.  Notwithstanding  all  his  in- 
trigues, the  sanjak  of  Delvino  was  conferred,  not 
upon  him,  but  upon  a  bey  of  one  of  the  first  families 
of  Zapouria.  But,  far  from  being  discouraged,  he 
recommenced  with  new  boldness  and  still  greater 
confidence  the  work  of  his  elevation,  so  often  begun 
and  so  often  interrupted.  He  took  advantage  of  his 
increasing  influence  to  ingratiate  himself  with  the 



new  pacha,  and  was  so  successful  in  insinuating 
himself  into  his  confidence,  that  he  was  received 
into  the  palace  and  treated  like  the  pacha's  son. 
There  he  acquired  complete  knowledge  of  the  de- 
tails of  the  pachalik  and  the  affairs  of  the  pacha, 
preparing  himself  to  govern  the  one  when  he  had 
got  rid  of  the  other. 

The  sanjak  of  Delvino  was  bounded  from  Ven- 
etian territory  by  the  district  of  Buthrotum.  Selim, 
a  better  neighbour  and  an  abler  politician  than  his 
predecessors,  sought  to  renew  and  preserve  friendly 
commercial  relations  with  the  purveyors  of  the 
Magnificent  Republic.  This  wise  conduct,  equally 
advantageous  for  both  the  bordering  provinces, 
instead  of  gaining  for  the  pacha  the  praise  and 
favours  which  he  deserved,  rendered  him  suspected 
at  a  court  whose  sole  political  idea  was  hatred  of 
the  name  of  Christian,  and  whose  sole  means  of 
government  was  terror.  Ali  immediately  perceived 
the  pacha's  error,  and  the  advantage  which  he  him- 
self could  derive  from  it.  Selim,  as  one  of  his  com- 
mercial transactions  with  the  Venetians,  had  sold 
them,  for  a  number  of  years,  the  right  of  felling 
timber  in  a  forest  near  Lake  Peloda.  Ali  immedi- 
ately took  advantage  of  this  to  denounce  the  pacha 
as  guilty  of  having  alienated  the  territory  of  the 
Sublime  Porte,  and  of  a  desire  to  deliver  to  the 
infidels  all  the  province  of  Delvino.     Masking  his 



ambitious  designs  under  the  veil  of  religion  and 
patriotism,  he  lamented,  in  his  denunciatory  report, 
the  necessity  under  which  he  found  himself,  as  a 
loyal  subject  and  faithful  Mussulman,  of  accusing 
a  man  who  had  been  his  benefactor,  and  thus  at  the 
same  time  gained  the  benefit  of  crime  and  the  credit 
of  virtue. 

Under  the  gloomy  despotism  of  the  Turks,  a  man 
in  any  position  of  responsibility  is  condemned  almost 
as  soon  as  accused ;  and  if  he  is  not  strong  enough  to 
inspire  terror,  his  ruin  is  certain.  AH  received  at 
Tepelen,  where  he  had  retired  to  more  conveniently 
weave  his  perfidious  plots,  an  order  to  get  rid  of 
the  pacha.  At  the  receipt  of  the  firman  of  execu- 
tion he  leaped  with  joy,  and  flew  to  Delvino  to 
seize  the  prey  which  was  abandoned  to  him. 

The  noble  Selim,  little  suspecting  that  his  pro- 
tege had  become  his  accuser  and  was  preparing  to 
become  his  executioner,  received  him  with  more 
tenderness  than  ever,  and  lodged  him,  as  heretofore, 
in  his  palace.  Under  the  shadow  of  this  hospitable 
roof,  Ali  skilfully  prepared  the  consummation  of  the 
crime  which  was  for  ever  to  draw  him  out  of 
obscurity.  He  went  every  morning  to  pay  his  court 
to  the  pacha,  whose  confidence  he  doubted;  then, 
one  day,  feigning  illness,  he  sent  excuses  for  inabil- 
ity to  pay  his  respects  to  a  man  whom  he  was  accus- 
tomed to  regard  as  his  father,  and  begged  him  to 



come  for  a  moment  into  his  apartment.  The  invi- 
tation being  accepted,  he  concealed  assassins  in  one 
of  the  cupboards  without  shelves,  so  common  in 
the  East,  which  contain  by  day  the  mattresses 
spread  by  night  on  the  floor  for  the  slaves  to  sleep 
upon.  At  the  hour  fixed,  the  old  man  arrived.  Ali 
rose  from  his  sofa  with  a  depressed  air,  met  him, 
kissed  the  hem  of  his  robe,  and,  after  seating  him 
in  his  place,  himself  offered  him  a  pipe  and  coffee, 
which  were  accepted.  But  instead  of  putting  the 
cup  in  the  hand  stretched  to  receive  it,  he  let  it  fall 
on  the  floor,  where  it  broke  into  a  thousand  pieces. 
This  was  the  signal.  The  assassins  sprang  from 
their  retreat  and  darted  upon  Selim,  who  fell,  ex- 
claiming, like  Caesar,  "  And  it  is  thou,  my  son,  who 
takest  my  life!  " 

At  the  sound  of  the  tumult  which  followed  the 
assassination,  Selim's  bodyguard,  running  up,  found 
Ali  erect,  covered  with  blood,  surrounded  by  assas- 
sins, holding  in  his  hand  the  firman  displayed,  and 
crying  with  a  menacing  voice,  "  I  have  killed  the 
traitor  Selim  by  the  order  of  our  glorious  sultan; 
here  is  his  imperial  command."  At  these  words, 
and  the  sight  of  the  fatal  diploma,  all  prostrated 
themselves  terror-stricken.  Ali,  after  ordering  the 
decapitation  of  Selim,  whose  head  he  seized  as  a 
trophy,  ordered  the  cadi,  the  beys,  and  the  Greek 
archons  to  meet  at  the  palace,  to  prepare  the  official 



account  of  the  execution  of  the  sentence.  They 
assembled,  trembling;  the  sacred  hymn  of  the  Fata- 
hat  was  sung,  and  the  murder  declared  legal,  in  the 
name  of  the  merciful  and  compassionate  God,  Lord 
of  the  world. 

When  they  had  sealed  up  the  effects  of  the  victim, 
the  murderer  left  the  palace,  taking  with  him,  as  a 
hostage,  Mustapha,  son  of  Selim,  destined  to  be 
even  more  unfortunate  than  his  father. 

A  few  days  afterwards,  the  Divan  awarded  to 
Ali  Tepeleni,  as  a  reward  for  his  zeal  for  the  State 
and  religion,  the  sanjak  of  Thessaly,  with  the  title 
of  Dervendgi-pacha,  or  Provost  Marshal  of  the 
roads.  This  latter  dignity  was  conferred  on  the 
condition  of  his  levying  a  body  of  four  thousand 
men  to  clear  the  valley  of  the  Peneus  of  a  multitude 
of  Christian  chiefs  who  exercised  more  power  than 
the  officers  of  the  Grand  Seigneur.  The  new  pacha 
took  advantage  of  this  to  enlist  a  numerous  body  of 
Albanians  ready  for  any  enterprise,  and  completely 
devoted  to  him.  With  two  important  commands, 
and  with  this  strong  force  at  his  back,  he  repaired 
to  Trikala,  the  seat  of  his  government,  where  he 
speedily  acquired  great  influence. 

His  first  act  of  authority  was  to  exterminate  the 
bands  of  Armatolis,  or  Christian  militia,  which  in- 
fested the  plain.  He  laid  violent  hands  on  all  whom 
he  caught,  and  drove  the  rest  back  into  their  moun- 



tains,  splitting  them  up  into  small  bands  whom  he 
could  deal  with  at  his  pleasure.  At  the  same  time  he 
sent  a  few  heads  to  Constantinople,  to  amuse  the 
sultan  and  the  mob,  and  some  money  to  the  min- 
isters to  gain  their  support.  "  For,"  said  he,  "  water 
sleeps,  but  envy  never  does."  These  steps  were 
prudent,  and  whilst  his  credit  increased  at  court, 
order  was  re-established  from  the  defiles  of  the  Per- 
rebia  of  Pindus  to  the  vale  of  Tempe  and  to  the 
pass  of  Thermopylae. 

These  exploits  of  the  provost-marshal,  amplified 
by  Oriental  exaggeration,  justified  the  ideas  which 
were  entertained  of  the  capacity  of  Ali  Pacha. 
Impatient  of  celebrity,  he  took  good  care  himself 
to  spread  his  fame,  relating  his  prowess  to  all 
comers,  making  presents  to  the  sultan's  officers  who 
came  into  his  government,  and  showing  travellers 
his  palace  courtyard  festooned  with  decapitated 
heads.  But  what  chiefly  tended  to  consolidate  his 
power  was  the  treasure  which  he  ceaselessly  amassed 
by  every  means.  He  never  struck  for  the  mere 
pleasure  of  striking,  and  the  numerous  victims  of 
his  proscriptions  only  perished  to  enrich  him.  His 
death  sentences  always  fell  on  beys  and  wealthy 
persons  whom  he  wished  to  plunder.  In  his  eyes 
the  axe  was  but  an  instrument  of  fortune,  and  the 
executioner  a  tax-gatherer. 



HAVING  governed  Thessaly  in  this  manner 
during  several  years,  Ali  found  himself  in 
a  position  to  acquire  the  province  of  Janina,  the 
possession  of  which,  by  making  him  master  of  Epi- 
rus,  would  enable  him  to  crush  all  his  enemies  and  to 
reign  supreme  over  the  three  divisions  of  Albania. 
But  before  he  could  succeed  in  this,  it  was  nec- 
essary to  dispose  of  the  pacha  already  in  posses- 
sion. Fortunately  for  Ali,  the  latter  was  a  weak 
and  indolent  man,  quite  incapable  of  struggling 
against  so  formidable  a  rival ;  and  his  enemy  speed- 
ily conceived  and  put  into  execution  a  plan  in- 
tended to  bring  about  the  fulfilment  of  his  desires. 
He  came  to  terms  with  the  same  Armatolians 
whom  he  had  formerly  treated  so  harshly,  and  let 
them  loose,  provided  with  arms  and  ammunition, 
on  the  country  which  he  wished  to  obtain.  Soon 
the  whole  region  echoed  with  stories  of  devasta- 
tion and  pillage.  The  pacha,  unable  to  repel  the 
incursions  of  these  mountaineers,  employed  the  few 
troops  he  had  in  oppressing  the  inhabitants  of  the 
plains,   who,   groaning  under   both   extortion   and 

2 — Dumas — Vol.  7  2 1 49 


rapine,  vainly  filled  the  air  with  their  despairing 
cries.  Ali  hoped  that  the  Divan,  which  usually- 
judged  only  after  the  event,  seeing  that  Epirus  lay 
desolate,  while  Thessaly  flourished  under  his  own 
administration,  would,  before  long,  entrust  himself 
with  the  government  of  both  provinces,  when  a 
family  incident  occurred,  which  for  a  time  diverted 
the  course  of  his  political  manoeuvres. 

For  a  long  time  his  mother  Kamco  had  suffered 
from  an  internal  cancer,  the  result  of  a  life  of  de- 
pravity. Feeling  that  her  end  drew  near,  she  des- 
patched messenger  after  messenger,  summoning 
her  son  to  her  bedside.  He  started,  but  arrived 
too  late,  and  found  only  his  sister  Chainitza  mourn- 
ing over  the  body  of  their  mother,  who  had  ex- 
pired in  her  arms  an  hour  previously.  Breathing 
unutterable  rage  and  pronouncing  horrible  impre- 
cations against  Heaven,  Kamco  had  commanded 
her  children,  under  pain  of  her  dying  curse,  to 
carry  out  her  last  wishes  faithfully.  After  having 
long  given  way  to  their  grief,  Ali  and  Chainitza 
read  together  the  document  which  contained  these 
commands.  It  ordained  some  special  assassina- 
tions, mentioned  sundry  villages  which,  some  day, 
were  to  be  given  to  the  flames,  but  ordered  them 
most  especially,  as  soon  as  possible,  to  exterminate 
the  inhabitants  of  Kormovo  and  Kardiki,  from 
whom  she  had  endured  the  last  horrors  of  slavery. 



Then,  after  advising  her  children  to  remain  united, 
to  enrich  their  soldiers,  and  to  count  as  nothing 
people  who  were  useless  to  them,  Kamco  ended  by 
commanding  them  to  send  in  her  name  a  pilgrim 
to  Mecca,  who  should  deposit  an  offering  on  the 
tomb  of  the  Prophet  for  the  repose  of  her  soul. 
Having  perused  these  last  injunctions,  Ali  and 
Chainitza  joined  hands,  and  over  the  inanimate  re- 
mains of  their  departed  mother  swore  to  accom- 
plish her  dying  behests. 

The  pilgrimage  came  first  under  consideration. 
Now  a  pilgrim  can  only  be  sent  as  proxy  to  Mecca, 
or  offerings  be  made  at  the  tomb  of  Medina,  at 
the  expense  of  legitimately  acquired  property  duly 
sold  for  the  purpose.  The  brother  and  sister  made 
a  careful  examination  of  the  family  estates,  and 
after  long  hunting,  thought  they  had  found  the 
correct  thing  in  a  small  property  of  about  fifteen 
hundred  francs  income,  inherited  from  their  great- 
grandfather, founder  of  the  Tepel-Enian  dynasty. 
But  further  investigations  disclosed  that  even  this 
last  resource  had  been  forcibly  taken  from  a  Chris- 
tian, and  the  idea  of  a  pious  pilgrimage  and  a  sa- 
cred offering  had  to  be  given  up.  They  then  agreed 
to  atone  for  the  impossibility  of  expiation  by  the 
grandeur  of  their  vengeance,  and  swore  to  pursue 
without  ceasing  and  to  destroy  without  mercy  all 
enemies  of  their  family. 



The  best  mode  of  carrying  out  this  terrible  and 
self-given  pledge  was  that  Ali  should  resume  his 
plans  of  aggrandizement  exactly  where  he  had  left 
them.  He  succeeded  in  acquiring  the  pachalik  of 
Janina,  which  was  granted  him  by  the  Porte  under 
the  title  of  "arpalik,"  or  conquest.  It  was  an  old 
custom,  natural  to  the  warlike  habits  of  the  Turks, 
to  bestow  the  Government  provinces  or  towns  af- 
fecting to  despise  the  authority  of  the  Grand  Seign- 
eur on  whomsoever  succeeded  in  controlling  them, 
and  Janina  occupied  this  position.  It  was  prin- 
cipally inhabited  by  Albanians,  who  had  an  enthu- 
siastic admiration  for  anarchy,  dignified  by  them 
with  the  name  of  "  Liberty,"  and  who  thought  them- 
selves independent  in  proportion  to  the  disturbance 
they  succeeded  in  making.  Each  lived  retired  as  if 
in  a  mountain  castle,  and  only  went  out  in  order 
to  participate  in  the  quarrels  of  his  faction  in  the 
forum.  As  for  the  pachas,  they  were  relegated  to 
the  old  castle  on  the  lake,  and  there  was  no  diffi- 
culty in  obtaining  their  recall. 

Consequently  there  was  a  general  outcry  at  the 
news  of  Ali  Pacha's  nomination,  and  it  was  unani- 
mously agreed  that  a  man  whose  character  and 
power  were  alike  dreaded  must  not  be  admitted 
within  the  walls  of  Janina.  Ali,  not  choosing  to 
risk  his  forces  in  an  open  battle  with  a  warlike 
population,  and  preferring  a  slower  and  safer  way 



to  a  short  and  dangerous  one,  began  by  pillaging 
the  villages  and  farms  belonging  to  his  most  power- 
ful opponents.  His  tactics  succeeded,  and  the  very 
persons  who  had  been  foremost  in  vowing  hatred 
to  the  son  of  Kamco  and  who  had  sworn  most 
loudly  that  they  would  die  rather  than  submit  to 
the  tyrant,  seeing  their  property  daily  ravaged,  and 
impending  ruin  if  hostilities  continued,  applied 
themselves  to  procure  peace.  Messengers  were 
sent  secretly  to  Ali,  offering  to  admit  him  into 
Janina  if  he  would  undertake  to  respect  the  lives 
and  property  of  his  new  allies.  Ali  promised  what- 
ever they  asked,  and  entered  the  town  by  night. 
His  first  proceeding  was  to  appear  before  the  cadi, 
whom  he  compelled  to  register  and  proclaim  his 
firmans  of  investiture. 

In  the  same  year  in  which  he  arrived  at  this  dig- 
nity, really  the  desire  and  object  of  Ali's  whole 
life,  occurred  also  the  death  of  the  Sultan  Abdul 
Hamid,  whose  two  sons,  Mustapha  and  Mahmoud, 
were  confined  in  the  Old  Seraglio.  This  change 
of  rulers,  however,  made  no  difference  to  Ali;  the 
peaceful  Selim,  exchanging  the  prison  to  which 
his  nephews  were  now  relegated,  for  the  throne  of 
their  father,  confirmed  the  Pacha  of  Janina  in  the 
titles,  offices,  and  privileges  which  had  been  con- 
ferred on  him. 

Established  in  his  position  by  this  double  inves- 




titure,  AH  applied  himself  to  the  definite  settle- 
ment of  his  claims.  He  was  now  fifty  years  of 
age,  and  was  at  the  height  of  his  intellectual  de- 
velopment: experience  had  been  his  teacher,  and 
the  lesson  of  no  single  event  had  been  lost  upon 
him.  An  uncultivated  but  just  and  penetrating 
mind  enabled  him  to  comprehend  facts,  analyse 
causes,  and  anticipate  results;  and  as  his  heart 
never  interfered  with  the  deductions  of  his  rough 
intelligence,  he  had  by  a  sort  of  logical  sequence 
formulated  an  inflexible  plan  of  action.  This  man, 
wholly  ignorant,  not  only  of  the  ideas  of  history 
but  also  of  the  great  names  of  Europe,  had  suc- 
ceeded in  divining,  and  as  a  natural  consequence 
of  his  active  and  practical  character,  in  also  real- 
ising Macchiavelli,  as  is  amply  shown  in  the  ex- 
pansion of  his  greatness  and  the  exercise  of  his 
power.  Without  faith  in  God,  despising  men, 
loving  and  thinking  only  of  himself,  distrusting  all 
around  him,  audacious  in  design,  immovable  in 
resolution,  inexorable  in  execution,  merciless  in 
vengeance,  by  turns  insolent,  humble,  violent,  or 
supple  according  to  circumstances,  always  and  en- 
tirely logical  in  his  egotism,  he  is  Cesar  Borgia  re- 
born as  a  Mussulman;  he  is  the  incarnate  ideal  of 
Florentine  policy,  the  Italian  prince  converted  in- 
to a  satrap. 

Age  had  as  yet  in  no  way  impaired  Ali's  strength 



and  activity,  and  nothing  prevented  his  profiting 
by  the  advantages  of  his  position.  Already  pos- 
sessing great  riches,  which  every  day  saw  increas- 
ing under  his  management,  he  maintained  a  large 
body  of  warlike  and  devoted  troops,  he  united  the 
offices  of  Pacha  of  two  tails  of  Janina,  of  Toparch 
of  Thessaly,  and  of  Provost  Marshal  of  the  High- 
way. As  influential  aids  both  to  his  reputation 
for  general  ability  and  the  terror  of  his  arms,  and 
his  authority  as  ruler,  there  stood  by  his  side  two 
sons,  Mouktar  and  Veli,  offspring  of  his  wife  Em- 
ineh,  both  fully  grown  and  carefully  educated  in 
the  principles  of  their  father. 

Ali's  first  care,  once  master  of  Janina,  was  to 
annihilate  the  beys  forming  the  aristocracy  of  the 
place,  whose  hatred  he  was  well  aware  of,  and 
whose  plots  he  dreaded.  He  ruined  them  all,  ban- 
ishing many  and  putting  others  to  death.  Know- 
ing that  he  must  make  friends  to  supply  the  va- 
cancy caused  by  the  destruction  of  his  foes,  he 
enriched  with  the  spoil  the  Albanian  mountaineers 
in  his  pay,  known  by  the  name  of  Skipetars,  on 
whom  he  conferred  most  of  the  vacant  employ- 
ments. But  much  too  prudent  to  allow  all  the 
power  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  a  single  caste,  al- 
though a  foreign  one  to  the  capital,  he,  by  a  sin- 
gular innovation,  added  to  and  mixed  with  them 
an  infusion  of  Orthodox  Greeks,  a  skilful  but  de- 



spised  race,  whose  talents  he  could  use  without 
having  to  dread  their  influence.  While  thus  en- 
deavouring on  one  side  to  destroy  the  power  of  his 
enemies  by  depriving  them  of  both  authority  and 
wealth,  and  on  the  other  to  consolidate  his  own  by 
establishing  a  firm  administration,  he  neglected  no 
means  of  acquiring  popularity.  A  fervent  disciple 
of  Mahomet  when  among  fanatic  Mussulmans,  a 
materialist  with  the  Bektagis  who  professed  a  rude 
pantheism,  a  Christian  among  the  Greeks,  with 
whom  he  drank  to  the  health  of  the  Holy  Virgin, 
he  made  everywhere  partisans  by  flattering  the 
idea  most  in  vogue.  But  if  he  constantly  changed 
both  opinions  and  language  when  dealing  with 
subordinates  whom  it  was  desirable  to  win  over, 
Ali  towards  his  superiors  had  one  only  line  of  con- 
duct which  he  never  transgressed.  Obsequious 
towards  the  Sublime  Porte,  so  long  as  it  did  not 
interfere  with  his  private  authority,  he  not  only 
paid  with  exactitude  all  dues  to  the  sultan,  to  whom 
he  even  often  advanced  money,  but  he  also  pen- 
sioned the  most  influential  ministers.  He  was  bent 
on  having  no  enemies  who  could  really  injure  his 
power,  and  he  knew  that  in  an  absolute  govern- 
ment no  conviction  can  hold  its  own  against  the 
power  of  gold. 

Having    thus    annihilated    the    nobles,    deceived 
the  multitude  with  plausible  words  and  lulled  to 



sleep  the  watchfulness  of  the  Divan,  AH  resolved 
to  turn  his  arms  against  Kormovo.  At  the  foot 
of  its  rocks  he  had,  in  youth,  experienced  the  dis- 
grace of  defeat,  and  during  thirty  nights  Kamco 
and  Chamitza  had  endured  all  horrors  of  outrage 
at  the  hands  of  its  warriors.  Thus  the  implacable 
pacha  had  a  twofold  wrong  to  punish,  a  double 
vengeance  to  exact. 

This  time,  profiting  by  experience,  he  called  in 
the  aid  of  treachery.  Arrived  at  the  citadel,  he 
negotiated,  promised  an  amnesty,  forgiveness  for 
all,  actual  rewards  for  some.  The  inhabitants,  only 
too  happy  to  make  peace  with  so  formidable  an 
adversary,  demanded  and  obtained  a  truce  to  settle 
the  conditions.  This  was  exactly  what  Ali  ex- 
pected, and  Kormovo,  sleeping  on  the  faith  of  the 
treaty,  was  suddenly  attacked  and  taken.  All  who 
did  not  escape  by  flight  perished  by  the  sword  in 
the  darkness,  or  by  the  hand  of  the  executioner 
the  next  morning.  Those  who  had  offered  violence 
aforetime  to  Ali's  mother  and  sister  were  carefully 
sought  for,  and  whether  convicted  or  merely  ac- 
cused, were  impaled  on  spits,  torn  with  red-hot 
pincers,  and  slowly  roasted  between  two  fires;  the 
women  were  shaved  and  publicly  scourged,  and 
then  sold  as  slaves. 

This  vengeance,  in  which  all  the  nobles  of  the 
province  not  yet  entirely   ruined   were   compelled 



to  assist,  was  worth  a  decisive  victory  to  Ali. 
Towns,  cantons,  whole  districts,  overwhelmed  with 
terror,  submitted  without  striking  a  blow,  and  his 
name,  joined  to  the  recital  of  a  massacre  which 
ranked  as  a  glorious  exploit  in  the  eyes  of  this 
savage  people,  echoed  like  thunder  from  valley  to 
valley  and  mountain  to  mountain.  In  order  that 
all  surrounding  him  might  participate  in  the  joy  of 
his  success  Ali  gave  his  army  a  splendid  festival. 
Of  unrivalled  activity,  and,  Mohammedan  only  in 
name,  he  himself  led  the  chorus  in  the  Pyrrhic  and 
Klephtic  dances,  the  ceremonials  of  warriors  and 
of  robbers.  There  was  no  lack  of  wine,  of  sheep, 
goats,  and  lambs  roasted  before  enormous  fires, 
made  of  the  debris  of  the  ruined  city;  antique 
games  of  archery  and  wrestling  were  celebrated, 
and  the  victors  received  their  prizes  from  the  hand 
of  their  chief.  The  plunder,  slaves,  and  cattle  were 
then  shared,  and  the  Tapygae,  considered  as  the 
lowest  of  the  four  tribes  composing  the  race  of 
Skipetars,  and  ranking  as  the  refuse  of  the  army, 
carried  off  into  the  mountains  of  Acroceraunia, 
doors,  windows,  nails,  and  even  the  tiles  of  the 
houses,  which  were  then  all  surrendered  to  the 

However,  Ibrahim,  the  successor  and  son-in-law 
of  Kurd  Pacha,  could  not  see  with  indifference 
part    of   his    province    invaded   by   his    ambitious 



neighbour.  He  complained  and  negotiated,  but  ob- 
taining no  satisfaction,  called  out  an  army  com- 
posed of  Skipetars  of  Toxid,  all  Islamites,  and 
gave  the  command  to  his  brother  Sepher,  Bey  of 
Avlone.  Ali,  who  had  adopted  the  policy  of  op- 
posing alternately  the  Cross  to  the  Crescent  and  the 
Crescent  to  the  Cross,  summoned  to  his  aid  the 
Christian  chiefs  of  the  mountains,  who  descended 
into  the  plains  at  the  head  of  their  unconquered 
troops.  As  is  generally  the  case  in  Albania,  where 
war  is  merely  an  excuse  for  brigandage,  instead  of 
deciding  matters  by  a  pitched  battle,  both  sides  con- 
tented themselves  with  burning  villages,  hanging 
peasants,  and  carrying  off  cattle. 

Also,  in  accordance  with  the  custom  of  the 
country,  the  women  interposed  between  the  com- 
batants, and  the  good  and  gentle  Emineh  laid  pro- 
posals of  peace  before  Ibrahim  Pacha,  to  whose 
apathetic  disposition  a  state  of  war  was  disagree- 
able, and  who  was  only  too  happy  to  conclude  a 
fairly  satisfactory  negotiation.  A  family  alliance 
was  arranged,  in  virtue  of  which  Ali  retained  his 
conquests,  which  were  considered  as  the  marriage 
portion  of  Ibrahim's  eldest  daughter,  who  became 
the  wife  of  Ali's  eldest  son,  Mouktar. 

It  was  hoped  that  this  peace  might  prove  per- 
manent, but  the  marriage  which  sealed  the  treaty 
was  barely  concluded  before  a  fresh  quarrel  broke 



out  between  the  pachas.  Ali,  having  wrung  such 
important  concessions  from  the  weakness  of  his 
neighbour,  desired  to  obtain  yet  more.  But  close- 
ly allied  to  Ibrahim  were  two  persons  gifted  with 
great  firmness  of  character  and  unusual  ability, 
whose  position  gave  them  great  influence.  They 
were  his  wife  Zaidee,  and  his  brother  Sepher,  who 
had  been  in  command  during  the  war  just  termi- 
nated. As  both  were  inimical  to  Ali,  who  could 
not  hope  to  corrupt  them,  the  latter  resolved  to 
get  rid  of  them. 

Having  in  the  days  of  his  youth  been  intimate 
with  Kurd  Pacha,  Ali  had  endeavoured  to  seduce 
his  daughter,  already  the  wife  of  Ibrahim.  Being 
discovered  by  the  latter  in  the  act  of  scaling  the 
wall  of  his  harem,  he  had  been  obliged  to  fly  the 
country.  Wishing  now  to  ruin  the  woman  whom 
he  had  formerly  tried  to  corrupt,  Ali  sought  to  turn 
his  former  crime  to  the  success  of  a  new  one. 
Anonymous  letters,  secretly  sent  to  Ibrahim, 
warned  him  that  his  wife  intended  to  poison  him, 
in  order  to  be  able  later  to  marry  Ali  Pacha,  whom 
she  had  always  loved.  In  a  country  like  Turkey, 
where  to  suspect  a  woman  is  to  accuse  her,  and  ac- 
cusation is  synonymous  with  condemnation,  such  a 
calumny  might  easily  cause  the  death  of  the  inno- 
cent Zaidee.  But  if  Ibrahim  was  weak  and  indo- 
lent, he  was  also  confiding  and  generous.     He  took 



the  letters  to  his  wife,  who  had  no  difficulty  in 
clearing  herself,  and  who  warned  him  against  the 
writer,  whose  object  and  plots  she  easily  divined, 
so  that  this  odious  conspiracy  turned  only  to  Ali's 
discredit.  But  the  latter  was  not  likely  either  to 
concern  himself  as  to  what  others  said  or  thought 
about  him  or  to  be  disconcerted  by  a  failure.  He 
simply  turned  his  machinations  against  his  other 
enemy,  and  arranged  matters  this  time  so  as  to 
avoid  a  failure. 

He  sent  to  Zagori,  a  district  noted  for  its  doc- 
tors, for  a  quack  who  undertook  to  poison  Sepher 
Bey  on  condition  of  receiving  forty  purses.  When 
all  was  settled,  the  miscreant  set  out  for  Berat, 
and  was  immediately  accused  by  Ali  of  evasion, 
and  his  wife  and  children  were  arrested  as  accom- 
plices and  detained,  apparently  as  hostages  for  the 
good  behaviour  of  their  husband  and  father,  but 
really  as  pledges  for  his  silence  when  the  crime 
should  have  been  accomplished.  Sepher  Bey,  in- 
formed of  this  by  letters  which  Ali  wrote  to  the 
Pacha  of  Berat  demanding  the  fugitive,  thought 
that  a  man  persecuted  by  his  enemy  would  be  faith- 
ful to  himself,  and  took  the  supposed  runaway 
into  his  service.  The  traitor  made  skilful  use  of 
the  kindness  of  his  too  credulous  protector,  insin- 
uated himself  into  his  confidence,  became  his 
trusted   physician  and   apothecary,   and  gave   him 



poison  instead  of  medicine  on  the  very  first  ap- 
pearance of  indisposition.  As  soon  as  symptoms 
of  death  appeared,  the  poisoner  fled,  aided  by  the 
emissaries  of  Ali,  with  whom  the  court  of  Berat 
was  packed,  and  presented  himself  at  Janina  to  re- 
ceive the  reward  of  his  crime.  Ali  thanked  him 
for  his  zeal,  commended  his  skill,  and  referred  him 
to  the  treasurer.  But  the  instant  the  wretch  left 
the  seraglio  in  order  to  receive  his  recompense,  he 
was  seized  by  the  executioners  and  hurried  to  the 
gallows.  In  thus  punishing  the  assassin,  Ali  at  one 
blow  discharged  the  debt  he  owed  him,  disposed  of 
the  single  witness  to  be  dreaded,  and  displayed  his 
own  friendship  for  the  victim!  Not  content  with 
this,  he  endeavoured  to  again  throw  suspicion  on 
the  wife  of  Ibrahim  Pacha,  whom  he  accused  of 
being  jealous  of  the  influence  which  Sepher  Pacha 
had  exercised  in  the  family.  This  he  mentioned 
regularly  in  conversation,  writing  in  the  same  style 
to  his  agents  at  Constantinople,  and  everywhere 
where  there  was  any  profit  in  slandering  a  family 
whose  ruin  he  desired  for  the  sake  of  their  pos- 
sessions. Before  long  he  made  a  pretext  out  of  the 
scandal  started  by  himself,  and  prepared  to  take  up 
arms  in  order,  he  said,  to  avenge  his  friend  Sepher 
Bey,  when  he  was  anticipated  by  Ibrahim  Pacha, 
who  roused  against  him  the  allied  Christians  of 
Thesprotia,  foremost  among  whom  ranked  the  Su- 



liots,  famed  through  Albania  for  their  courage  and 
their  love  of  independence. 

After  several  battles,  in  which  his  enemies  had 
the  advantage,  Ali  began  negotiations  with  Ibra- 
him, and  finally  concluded  a  treaty  offensive  and 
defensive.  This  fresh  alliance  was,  like  the  first, 
to  be  cemented  by  a  marriage.  The  virtuous  Emi- 
neh,  seeing  her  son  Veli  united  to  the  second  daugh- 
ter of  Ibrahim,  trusted  that  the  feud  between  the 
two  families  was  now  quenched,  and  thought  her- 
self at  the  summit  of  happiness.  But  her  joy  was 
not  of  long  duration ;  the  death-groan  was  again  to 
be  heard  amidst  the  songs  of  the  marriage-feast. 

The  daughter  of  Cha'initza,  by  her  first  husband, 
Ali,  had  married  a  certain  Murad,  the  Bey  of  Cle- 
isoura.  This  nobleman,  attached  to  Ibrahim  Pacha 
by  both  blood  and  affection,  since  the  death  of 
Sepher  Bey,  had,  become  the  special  object  of  Ali's 
hatred,  caused  by  the  devotion  of  Murad  to  his 
patron,  over  whom  he  had  great  influence,  and 
from  whom  nothing  could  detach  him.  Skilful  in 
concealing  truth  under  special  pretexts,  Ali  gave 
out  that  the  cause  of  his  known  dislike  to  this 
young  man  was  that  the  latter,  although  his  nephew 
by  marriage,  had  several  times  fought  in  hostile 
ranks  against  him.  Therefore  the  amiable  Ibra- 
him made  use  of  the  marriage  treaty  to  arrange  an 
honourable  reconciliation  between  Murad  Bey  and 



his  uncle,  and  appointed  the  former  "  Ruler  of  the 
Marriage  Feast,"  in  which  capacity  he  was  charged 
to  conduct  the  bride  to  Janina  and  deliver  her  to 
her  husband,  the  young  Veli  Bey.  He  accom- 
plished his  mission  satisfactorily,  and  was  received 
by  Ali  with  all  apparent  hospitality.  The  festival 
began  on  his  arrival  towards  the  end  of  November 
1 79 1,  and  had  already  continued  several  days,  when 
suddenly  it  was  announced  that  a  shot  had  been 
fired  upon  Ali,  who  had  only  escaped  by  a  miracle, 
and  that  the  assassin  was  still  at  large.  This  news 
spread  terror  through  the  city  and  the  palace,  and 
everyone  dreaded  being  seized  as  the  guilty  person. 
Spies  were  everywhere  employed,  but  they  declared 
search  was  useless,  and  that  there  must  be  an  ex- 
tensive conspiracy  against  Ali's  life.  The  latter 
complained  of  being  surrounded  by  enemies,  and 
announced  that  henceforth  he  would  receive  only 
one  person  at  a  time,  who  should  lay  down  his 
arms  before  entering  the  hall  now  set  apart  for 
public  audience.  It  was  a  chamber  built  over  a 
vault,  and  entered  by  a  sort  of  trap-door,  only 
reached  by  a  ladder. 

After  having  for  several  days  received  his  cour- 
iers in  this  sort  of  dovecot,  Ali  summoned  his 
nephew  in  order  to  entrust  with  him  the  wedding 
gifts.  Murad  took  this  as  a  sign  of  favour,  and 
joyfully  acknowledged  the  congratulations  of  his 



friends.  He  presented  himself  at  the  time  ar- 
ranged, the  guards  at  the  foot  of  the  ladder  de- 
manded his  arms,  which  he  gave  up  readily,  and 
ascended  the  ladder  full  of  hope.  Scarcely  had  the 
trap-door  closed  behind  him  when  a  pistol  ball, 
fired  from  a  dark  corner,  broke  his  shoulder  blade, 
and  he  fell,  but  sprang  up  and  attempted  to  fly.  AH 
issued  from  his  hiding  place  and  sprang  upon  him, 
but  notwithstanding  his  wound  the  young  bey  de- 
fended himself  vigorously,  uttering  terrible  cries. 
The  pacha,  eager  to  finish,  and  finding  his  hands 
insufficient,  caught  a  burning  log  from  the  hearth, 
struck  his  nephew  in  the  face  with  it,  felled  him  to 
the  ground,  and  completed  his  bloody  task.  This 
accomplished,  Ali  called  for  help  with  loud  cries, 
and  when  his  guards  entered  he  showed  the  bruises 
he  had  received  and  the  blood  with  which  he  was 
covered,  declaring  that  he  had  killed  in  self-defence 
a  villain  who  endeavoured  to  assassinate  him. 
He  ordered  the  body  to  be  searched,  and  a  letter 
was  found  in  a  pocket  which  Ali  had  himself  just 
placed  there,  which  purported  to  give  the  details  of 
the  pretended  conspiracy. 

As  Murad's  brother  was  seriously  compromised 
by  this  letter,  he  also  was  immediately  seized,  and 
strangled  without  any  pretence  of  trial.  The  whole 
palace  rejoiced,  thanks  were  rendered  to  Heaven 
by  one  of  those  sacrifices  of  animals  still  occasion- 



ally  made  in  the  East  to  celebrate  an  escape  from 
great  danger,  and  Ali  released  some  prisoners  in 
order  to  show  his  gratitude  to  Providence  for  hav- 
ing protected  him  from  so  horrible  a  crime.  He 
received  congratulatory  visits,  and  composed  an 
apology  attested  by  a  judicial  declaration  by  the 
cadi,  in  which  the  memory  of  Murad  and  his 
brother  was  declared  accursed.  Finally,  commis- 
sioners, escorted  by  a  strong  body  of  soldiers,  were 
sent  to  seize  the  property  of  the  two  brothers,  be- 
cause, said  the  decree,  it  was  just  that  the  injured 
should  inherit  the  possessions  of  his  would-be  as- 

Thus  was  exterminated  the  only  family  capable 
of  opposing  the  Pacha  of  Janina,  or  which  could 
counterbalance  his  influence  over  the  weak  Ibra- 
him of  Berat.  The  latter,  abandoned  by  his  brave 
defenders,  and  finding  himself  at  the  mercy  of  his 
enemy,  was  compelled  to  submit  to  what  he  could 
not  prevent,  and  protested  only  by  tears  against 
these  crimes,  which  seemed  to  herald  a  terrible  fu- 
ture for  himself. 

As  for  Emineh,  it  is  said  that  from  the  date 
of  this  catastrophe  she  separated  herself  almost 
entirely  from  her  blood-stained  husband,  and  spent 
her  life  in  the  recesses  of  the  harem,  praying  as  a 
Christian  both  for  the  murderer  and  his  victims. 
It  is  a  relief,  in  the  midst  of  this  atrocious  satur- 


nalia,  to  encounter  this  noble  and  gentle  character, 
which,  like  a  desert  oasis,  affords  a  rest  to  eyes 
wearied  with  the  contemplation  of  so  much  wicked- 
ness and  treachery. 

Ali  lost  in  her  the  guardian  angel  who  alone 
could  in  any  way  restrain  his  violent  passions. 
Grieved  at  first  by  the  withdrawal  of  the  wife 
whom  hitherto  he  had  loved  exclusively,  he  en- 
deavoured in  vain  to  regain  her  affection ;  and  then 
sought  in  new  vices  compensation  for  the  happi- 
ness he  had  lost,  and  gave  himself  up  to  sensuality. 
Ardent  in  everything,  he  carried  debauchery  to  a 
monstrous  extent,  and  as  if  his  palaces  were  not 
large  enough  for  his  desires,  he  assumed  various 
disguises ;  sometimes  in  order  to  traverse  the  streets 
by  night  in  search  of  the  lowest  pleasures;  some- 
times penetrating  by  day  into  churches  and  private 
houses  seeking  for  young  men  and  maidens  re- 
markable for  their  beauty,  who  were  then  carried 
off  to  his  harem. 

His  sons,  following  in  his  footsteps,  kept  also 
scandalous  households,  and  seemed  to  dispute  pre- 
eminence in  evil  with  their  father,  each  in  his  own 
manner.  Drunkenness  was  the  speciality  of  the 
eldest,  Mouktar,  who  was  without  rival  among  the 
hard  drinkers  of  Albania,  and  who  was  reputed  to 
have  emptied  a  whole  wine-skin  in  one  evening 
after  a  plentiful  meal.  Gifted  with  the  hereditary 


violence  of  his  family,  he  had,  in  his  drunken  fury, 
slain  several  persons,  among  others  his  sword- 
bearer,  the  companion  of  his  childhood  and  con- 
fidential friend  of  his  whole  life.  Veli  chose  a  dif- 
ferent course.  Realising  the  Marquis  de  Sade  as 
his  father  had  realised  Macchiavelli,  he  delighted 
in  mingling  together  debauchery  and  cruelty,  and 
his  amusement  consisted  in  biting  the  lips  he  had 
kissed,  and  tearing  with  his  nails  the  forms  he  had 
caressed.  The  people  of  Janina  saw  with  horror 
more  than  one  woman  in  their  midst  whose  nose 
and  ears  he  had  caused  to  be  cut  off,  and  had  then 
turned  into  the  streets. 

It  was  indeed  a  reign  of  terror;  neither  fortune, 
life,  honour,  nor  family  were  safe.  Mothers  cursed 
their  fruitfulness,  and  women  their  beauty.  Fear 
soon  engenders  corruption,  and  subjects  are  speed- 
ily tainted  by  the  depravity  of  their  masters.  Ali, 
considering  a  demoralised  race  as  easier  to  govern, 
looked  on  with  satisfaction. 

While  he  strengthened  by  every  means  his  au- 
thority from  within,  he  missed  no  opportunity  of 
extending  his  rule  without.  In  1803  he  declared 
war  against  the  Suliots,  whose  independence  he 
had  frequently  endeavoured  either  to  purchase  or 
to  overthrow.  The  army  sent  against  them,  al- 
though ten  thousand  strong,  was  at  first  beaten 
everyhere.     Ali  then,  as  usual,  brought  treason  to 



his  aid,  and  regained  the  advantage.  It  became 
evident  that,  sooner  or  later,  the  unhappy  Suliots 
must  succumb. 

Foreseeing  the  horrors  which  their  defeat  would 
entail,  Emineh,  touched  with  compassion,  issued 
from  her  seclusion  and  cast  herself  at  All's  feet. 
He  raised  her,  seated  her  beside  him,  and  inquired 
as  to  her  wishes.  She  spoke  of  generosity,  of  mer- 
cy; he  listened  as  if  touched  and  wavering,  until 
she  named  the  Suliots.  Then,  filled  with  fury,  he 
seized  a  pistol  and  fired  at  her.  She  was  not  hurt, 
but  fell  to  the  ground  overcome  with  terror,  and 
her  women  hastily  intervened  and  carried  her 
away.  For  the  first  time  in  his  life,  perhaps,  AH 
shuddered  before  the  dread  of  a  murder. 

It  was  his  wife,  the  mother  of  his  children,  whom 
he  saw  lying  at  his  feet,  and  the  recollection  af- 
flicted and  tormented  him.  He  rose  in  the  night 
and  went  to  Emineh's  apartment;  he  knocked  and 
called,  but  being  refused  admittance,  in  his  anger 
he  broke  open  the  door.  Terrified  by  the  noise, 
and  at  the  sight  of  her  infuriated  husband,  Emineh 
fell  into  violent  convulsions,  and  shortly  expired. 
Thus  perished  the  daugher  of  Capelan  Pacha,  wife 
of  Ali  Tepeleni,  and  mother  of  Mouktar  and  Veli, 
who,  doomed  to  live  surrounded  by  evil,  yet  re- 
mained virtuous  and  good. 

Her  death  caused  universal  mourning  through- 


out  Albania,  and  produced  a  not  less  deep  impres- 
sion on  the  mind  of  her  murderer.  Emineh's  spec- 
tre pursued  him  in  his  pleasures,  in  the  council 
chamber,  in  the  hours  of  night.  He  saw  her,  he 
heard  her,  and  would  awake,  exclaiming,  "My 
wife!  my  wife! — It  is  my  wife! — Her  eyes  are 
angry;  she  threatens  me! — Save  me!  Mercy!" 
For  more  than  ten  years  Ali  never  dared  to  sleep 



IN  December,  the  Suliots,  decimated  by  battle, 
worn  by  famine,  discouraged  by  treachery, 
were  obliged  to  capitulate.  The  treaty  gave  them 
leave  to  go  where  they  would,  their  own  mountains 
excepted.  The  unfortunate  tribe  divided  into  two 
parts,  the  one  going  towards  Parga,  the  other 
towards  Prevesa.  Ali  gave  orders  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  both,  notwithstanding  the  treaty. 

The  Parga  division  was  attacked  in  its  march, 
and  charged  by  a  numerous  body  of  Skipetars.  Its 
destruction  seemed  imminent,  but  instinct  suddenly 
revealed  to  the  ignorant  mountaineers  the  one  ma- 
noeuvre which  might  save  them.  They  formed  a 
square,  placing  old  men,  women,  children,  and  cat- 
tle in  the  midst,  and,  protected  by  this  military  for- 
mation, entered  Parga  in  full  view  of  the  cut-throats 
sent  to  pursue  them. 

Less  fortunate  was  the  Prevesa  division,  which, 
terrified  by  a  sudden  and  unexpected  attack,  fled  in 
disorder  to  a  Greek  convent  called  Zalongos.  But 
the  gate  was  soon  broken  down,  and  the  unhappy 
Suliots  massacred  to  the  last  man. 


The  women,  whose  tents  had  been  pitched  on  the 
summit  of  a  lofty  rock,  beheld  the  terrible  carnage 
which  destroyed  their  defenders.  Henceforth  their 
only  prospect  was  that  of  becoming  the  slaves  of 
those  who  had  just  slaughtered  their  husbands  and 
brothers.  An  heroic  resolution  spared  them  this 
infamy;  they  joined  hands,  and  chanting  their 
national  songs,  moved  in  a  solemn  dance  round  the 
rocky  platform.  As  the  song  ended,  they  uttered  a 
prolonged  and  piercing  cry,  and  cast  themselves  and 
their  children  down  into  the  profound  abyss  beneath. 

There  were  still  some  Suliots  left  in  their  coun- 
try when  Ali  Pacha  took  possession  of  it.  These 
were  all  taken  and  brought  to  Janina,  and  their  suf- 
ferings were  the  first  adornments  of  the  festival 
made  for  the  army.  Every  soldier's  imagination 
was  racked  for  the  discovery  of  new  tortures,  and 
the  most  original  among  them  had  the  privilege  of 
themselves  carrying  out  their  inventions. 

There  were  some  who,  having  had  their  noses 
and  ears  cut  off,  were  compelled  to  eat  them  raw, 
dressed  as  a  salad.  One  young  man  was  scalped 
until  the  skin  fell  back  upon  his  shoulders,  then 
beaten  round  the  court  of  the  seraglio  for  the 
pacha's  entertainment,  until  at  length  a  lance  was 
run  through  his  body  and  he  was  cast  on  the  funeral 
pile.  Many  were  boiled  alive  and  their  flesh  then 
thrown  to  the  dogs. 



From  this  time  the  Cross  has  disappeared  from 
the  Selleid  mountains,  and  the  gentle  prayer  of 
Christ  no  longer  wakes  the  echoes  of  Suli. 

During  the  course  of  this  war,  and  shortly  after 
the  death  of  Emineh,  another  dismal  drama  was 
enacted  in  the  pacha's  family,  whose  active  wicked- 
ness nothing  seemed  to  weary.  The  scandalous 
libertinism  of  both  father  and  sons  had  corrupted 
all  around  as  well  as  themselves.  This  demoralisa- 
tion brought  bitter  fruits  for  all  alike:  the  subjects 
endured  a  terrible  tyranny;  the  masters  sowed 
among  themselves  distrust,  discord,  and  hatred. 
The  father  wounded  his  two  sons  by  turns  in  their 
tenderest  affections,  and  the  sons  avenged  them- 
selves by  abandoning  their  father  in  the  hour  of 

There  was  in  Janina  a  woman  named  Euphro- 
syne,  a  niece  of  the  archbishop,  married  to  one  of 
the  richest  Greek  merchants,  and  noted  for  wit  and 
beauty.  She  was  already  the  mother  of  two  chil- 
dren, when  Mouktar  became  enamoured  of  her,  and 
ordered  her  to  come  to  his  palace.  The  unhappy 
Euphrosyne,  at  once  guessing  his  object,  summoned 
a  family  council  to  decide  what  should  be  done.  All 
agreed  that  there  was  no  escape,  and  that  her  hus- 
band's life  was  in  danger,  on  account  of  the  jeal- 
ousy of  his  terrible  rival.  He  fled  the  city  that  same 
night,  and  his  wife  surrendered  herself  to  Mouktar, 



who,  softened  by  her  charms,  soon  sincerely  loved 
her,  and  overwhelmed  her  with  presents  and 
favours.  Things  were  in  this  position  when  Mouk- 
tar  was  obliged  to  depart  on  an  important  expe- 

Scarcely  had  he  started  before  his  wives  com- 
plained to  Ali  that  Euphrosyne  usurped  their  rights 
and  caused  their  husband  to  neglect  them.  Ali, 
who  complained  greatly  of  his  sons'  extravagance, 
and  regretted  the  money  they  squandered,  at  once 
struck  a  blow  which  was  both  to  enrich  himself 
and  increase  the  terror  of  his  name. 

One  night  he  appeared  by  torchlight,  accom- 
panied by  his  guards,  at  Euphrosyne's  house. 
Knowing  his  cruelty  and  avarice,  she  sought  to 
disarm  one  by  gratifying  the  other:  she  collected 
her  money  and  jewels  and  laid  them  at  All's  feet 
with  a  look  of  supplication. 

"  These  things  are  only  my  own  property,  which 
you  restore,"  said  he,  taking  possession  of  the  rich 
offering.  "  Can  you  give  back  the  heart  of  Mouk- 
tar,  which  you  have  stolen  ?  " 

Euphrosyne  besought  him  by  his  paternal  feel- 
ings, for  the  sake  of  his  son  whose  love  had  been 
her  misfortune  and  was  now  her  only  crime,  to  spare 
a  mother  whose  conduct  had  been  otherwise  irre- 
proachable. But  her  tears  and  pleadings  produced 
no  effect  on  Ali,  who  ordered  her  to  be  taken,  loaded 


with  fetters  and  covered  with  a  piece  of  sackcloth, 
to  the  prison  of  the  seraglio. 

If  it  were  certain  that  there  was  no  hope  for  the 
unhappy  Euphrosyne,  one  trusted  that  she  might 
at  least  be  the  only  victim.  But  Ali,  professing  to 
follow  the  advice  of  some  severe  reformers  who 
wished  to  restore  decent  morality,  arrested  at  the 
same  time  fifteen  ladies  belonging  to  the  best  Chris- 
tian families  in  Janina.  A  Wallachian,  named 
Nicholas  Janco,  took  the  opportunity  to  denounce 
his  own  wife,  who  was  on  the  point  of  becoming  a 
mother,  as  guilty  of  adultery,  and  handed  her  also 
over  to  the  pacha.  These  unfortunate  women  were 
brought  before  Ali  to  undergo  a  trial  of  which  a 
sentence  of  death  was  the  foregone  conclusion. 
They  were  then  confined  in  a  dungeon,  where  they 
spent  two  days  of  misery.  The  third  night,  the  exe- 
cutioners appeared  to  conduct  them  to  the  lake 
where  they  were  to  perish.  Euphrosyne,  too  ex- 
hausted to  endure  to  the  end,  expired  by  the  way, 
and  when  she  was  flung  with  the  rest  into  the  dark 
waters,  her  soul  had  already  escaped  from  its 
earthly  tenement.  Her  body  was  found  the  next 
day,  and  was  buried  in  the  cemetery  of  the  monas- 
tery of  Saints-Anargyres,  where  her  tomb,  cov- 
ered with  white  iris  and  sheltered  by  a  wild  olive 
tree,  is  yet  shown. 

Mouktar  was  returning  from  his  expedition  when 



a  courier  from  his  brother  Veli  brought  him  a  let- 
ter informing  him  of  these  events.  He  opened  it. 
"  Euphrosyne !  "  he  cried,  and,  seizing  one  of  his 
pistols,  fired  it  at  the  messenger,  who  fell  dead  at 
his  feet, — "Euphrosyne,  behold  thy  first  victim!" 
Springing  on  his  horse,  he  galloped  towards  Jan- 
ina.  His  guards  followed  at  a  distance,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  all  the  villages  he  passed  fled  at  his 
approach.  He  paid  no  attention  to  them,  but  rode 
till  his  horse  fell  dead  by  the  lake  which  had  en- 
gulfed Euphrosyne,  and  then,  taking  a  boat,  he 
went  to  hide  his  grief  and  rage  in  his  own  palace. 

AH,  caring  little  for  passion  which  evaporated  in 
tears  and  cries,  sent  an  order  to  Mouktar  to  appear 
before  him  at  once.  "  He  will  not  kill  you,"  he 
remarked  to  his  messenger,  with  a  bitter  smile. 
And,  in  fact,  the  man  who  a  moment  before  was 
furiously  raging  and  storming  against  his  father, 
as  if  overwhelmed  by  this  imperious  message, 
calmed  down,  and  obeyed. 

"  Come  hither,  Mouktar,"  said  the  pacha,  extend- 
ing his  murderous  hand  to  be  kissed  as  soon  as 
his  son  appeared.  "  I  shall  take  no  notice  of  your 
anger,  but  in  future  never  forget  that  a  man  who 
braves  public  opinion  as  I  do  fears  nothing  in  the 
world.  You  can  go  now ;  when  your  troops  have 
rested  from  their  march,  you  can  come  and  ask  for 
orders.  Go,  remember  what  I  have  said." 


Mouktar  retired  as  submissively  as  if  he  had  just 
received  pardon  for  some  serious  crime,  and  found 
no  better  consolation  than  to  spend  the  night  with 
Veli  in  drinking  and  debauchery.  But  a  day  was 
to  come  when  the  brothers,  alike  outraged  by  their 
father,  would  plot  and  carry  out  a  terrible  ven- 

However,  the  Porte  began  to  take  umbrage  at  the 
continual  aggrandisement  of  the  Pacha  of  Janina. 
Not  daring  openly  to  attack  so  formidable  a  vassal, 
the  sultan  sought  by  underhand  means  to  diminish 
his  power,  and  under  the  pretext  that  Ali  was  be- 
coming too  old  for  the  labour  of  so  many  offices, 
the  government  of  Thessaly  was  withdrawn  from 
him,  but,  to  show  that  this  was  not  done  in  enmity, 
the  province  was  entrusted  to  his  nephew,  Elmas 
Bey,  son  of  Suleiman  and  Cha'initza. 

Chainitza,  fully  as  ambitious  as  her  brother,  could 
not  contain  her  delight  at  the  idea  of  governing  in 
the  name  of  her  son,  who  was  weak  and  gentle  in 
character  and  accustomed  to  obey  her  implicitly. 
She  asked  her  brother's  permission  to  go  to  Trikala 
to  be  present  at  the  installation,  and  obtained  it,  to 
everybody's  astonishment ;  for  no  one  could  imagine 
that  Ali  would  peacefully  renounce  so  important  a 
government  as  that  of  Thessaly.  However,  he  dis- 
sembled so  skilfully  that  everyone  was  deceived  by 
his  apparent  resignation,  and  applauded  his  mag- 


nanimity,  when  he  provided  his  sister  with  a  bril- 
liant escort  to  conduct  her  to  the  capital  of  the  prov- 
ince of  which  he  had  just  been  deprived  in  favour 
of  his  nephew.  He  sent  letters  of  congratulation 
to  the  latter  as  well  as  magnificent  presents,  among 
them  a  splendid  pelisse  of  black  fox,  which  had 
cost  more  than  a  hundred  thousand  francs  of  West- 
ern money.  He  requested  Elmas  Bey  to  honour 
him  by  wearing  this  robe  on  the  day  when  the  sul- 
tan's envoy  should  present  him  with  the  firman  of 
investiture,  and  Cha'initza  herself  was  charged  to 
deliver  both  gifts  and  messages. 

Cha'initza  arrived  safely  at  Trikala,  and  faith- 
fully delivered  the  messages  with  which  she  had 
been  entrusted.  When  the  ceremony  she  so 
ardently  desired  took  place,  she  herself  took  charge 
of  all  the  arrangements.  Elmas,  wearing  the  black 
fox  pelisse,  was  proclaimed,  and  acknowledged  as 
Governor  of  Thessaly  in  her  presence.  "  My  son  is 
pacha!  "  she  cried  in  the  delirium  of  joy.  "  My  son 
is  pacha !  and  my  nephews  will  die  of  envy !  "  But 
her  triumph  was  not  to  be  of  long  duration.  A  few 
days  after  his  installation,  Elmas  began  to  feel 
strangely  languid.  Continual  lethargy,  convulsive 
sneezing,  feverish  eyes,  soon  betokened  a  serious 
illness.  Ali's  gift  had  accomplished  its  purpose. 
The  pelisse,  carefully  impregnated  with  smallpox 
germs  taken  from  a  young  girl  suffering  from  this 


malady,  had  conveyed  the  dreaded  disease  to  the 
new  pacha,  who,  not  having  been  inoculated,  died 
in  a  few  days. 

The  grief  of  Cha'initza  at  her  son's  death  dis- 
played itself  in  sobs,  threats,  and  curses,  but,  not 
knowing  whom  to  blame  for  her  misfortune,  she 
hastened  to  leave  the  scene  of  it,  and  returned  to 
Janina,  to  mingle  her  tears  with  those  of  her 
brother.  She  found  Ali  apparently  in  such  depths 
of  grief,  that  instead  of  suspecting,  she  was  actually 
tempted  to  pity  him,  and  this  seeming  sympathy 
soothed  her  distress,  aided  by  the  caresses  of  her 
second  son,  Aden  Bey.  Ali,  thoughtful  of  his  own 
interests,  took  care  to  send  one  of  his  own  officers 
to  Trikala,  to  administer  justice  in  the  place  of  his 
deceased  nephew,  and  the  Porte,  seeing  that  all 
attempts  against  him  only  caused  misfortune,  con- 
sented to  his  resuming  the  government  of  Thessaly. 

This  climax  roused  the  suspicions  of  many  per- 
sons. But  the  public  voice,  already  discussing  the 
causes  of  the  death  of  Elmas,  was  stifled  by  the 
thunder  of  the  cannon,  which,  from  the  ramparts 
of  Janina,  announced  to  Epirus  the  birth  of  an- 
other son  to  Ali,  Salik  Bey,  whose  mother  was  a 
Georgian  slave. 

Fortune,  seemingly  always  ready  both  to  crown 
Ali's  crimes  with  success  and  to  fulfil  his  wishes, 
had  yet  in  reserve  a  more  precious  gift  than  any  of 



the  others,  that  of  a  good  and  beautiful  wife,  who 
should  replace,  and  even  efface  the  memory  of  the 
beloved  Emineh. 

The  Porte,  while  sending  to  Ali  the  firman  which 
restored  to  him  the  government  of  Thessaly,  ordered 
him  to  seek  out  and  destroy  a  society  of  coiners  who 
dwelt  within  his  jurisdiction.  Ali,  delighted  to 
prove  his  zeal  by  a  service  which  cost  nothing  but 
bloodshed,  at  once  set  his  spies  to  work,  and  having 
discovered  the  abode  of  the  gang,  set  out  for  the 
place  attended  by  a  strong  escort.  It  was  a  village 
called  Plikivitza. 

Having  arrived  in  the  evening,  he  spent  the  night 
in  taking  measures  to  prevent  escape,  and  at  break 
of  day  attacked  the  village  suddenly  with  his  whole 
force.  The  coiners  were  seized  in  the  act.  Ali 
immediately  ordered  the  chief  to  be  hung  at  his  own 
door  and  the  whole  population  to  be  massacred. 
Suddenly  a  young  girl  of  great  beauty  made  her 
way  through  the  tumult  and  sought  refuge  at  his 
feet.  Ali,  astonished,  asked  who  she  was.  She 
answered  with  a  look  of  mingled  innocence  and  ter- 
ror, kissing  his  hands,  which  she  bathed  with  tears, 
and  said — 

"  O  my  lord !  I  implore  thee  to  intercede  with  the 

terrible  vizier  Ali   for  my   mother   and   brothers. 

My  father  is  dead,  behold  where  he  hangs  at  the 

door  of  our  cottage!     But  we  have  done  nothing 


Of  unrivalled  activity,  and  Mohammedan  only  in  name,  he 
himself  led  the  chorus  in  the  Pyrrhic  and  Klephtic  dances,  the 
ceremonials  of  warriors  and  of  robbers. 

—p.  2158 
From  the  painting  by  J.  L.  Gerome 


to  rouse  the  anger  of  our  dreadful  master.  My 
mother  is  a  poor  woman  who  never  offended  any- 
one, and  we  are  only  weak  children.  Save  us  from 

Touched  in  spite  of  himself,  the  pacha  took  the 
girl  in  his  arms,  and  answered  her  with  a  gentle 
smile — 

"Thou  hast  come  to  the  wrong  man,  child :  I  am 
this  terrible  vizier." 

"  Oh  no,  no!  you  are  good,  you  will  be  our  good 

"  Well,  be  comforted,  my  child,  and  show  me  thy 
mother  and  thy  brothers ;  they  shall  be  spared. 
Thou  hast  saved  their  lives." 

And  as  she  knelt  at  his  feet,  overcome  with  joy, 
he  raised  her  and  asked  her  name. 

"  Basilessa,"  she  replied. 

"  Basilessa,  Queen!  it  is  a  name  of  good  augury. 
Basilessa,  thou  shalt  dwell  with  me  henceforth." 

And  he  collected  the  members  of  her  family,  and 
gave  orders  for  them  to  be  sent  to  Janina  in  com- 
pany with  the  maiden,  who  repaid  his  mercy  with 
boundless  love  and  devotion. 

Let  us  mention  one  trait  of  gratitude  shown  by 
Ali  at  the  end  of  this  expedition,  and  his  record  of 
good  deeds  is  then  closed.  Compelled  by  a  storm 
to  take  refuge  in  a  miserable  hamlet,  he  inquired 
its  name,  and  on  hearing  it  appeared  surprised  and 

3— Dumas— Vol.  7  -        2I&I 


thoughtful,  as  if  trying  to  recall  lost  memories. 
Suddenly  he  asked  if  a  woman  named  Nouza  dwelt 
in  the  village,  and  was  told  there  was  an  old  infirm 
woman  of  that  name  in  great  poverty.  He  ordered 
her  to  be  brought  before  him.  She  came  and  pros- 
trated herself  in  terror.    Ali  raised  her  kindly. 

"  Dost  thou  not  know  me?  "  he  asked. 

"  Have  mercy,  great  Vizier,"  answered  the  poor 
woman,  who,  having  nothing  to  lose  but  her  life, 
imagined  that  even  that  would  be  taken  from  her. 

"  I  see,"  said  the  pacha,  "  that  if  thou  knowest 
me,  thou  dost  not  really  recognise  me." 

The  woman  looked  at  him  wonderingly,  not 
understanding  his  words  in  the  least. 

"  Dost  thou  remember,"  continued  Ali,  "  that 
forty  years  ago  a  young  man  asked  for  shelter  from 
the  foes  who  pursued  him?  Without  inquiring  his 
name  or  standing,  thou  didst  hide  him  in  thy  hum- 
ble house,  and  dressed  his  wounds,  and  shared  thy 
scanty  food  with  him,  and  when  he  was  able  to  go 
forward  thou  didst  stand  on  thy  threshold  to  wish 
him  good  luck  and  success.  Thy  wishes  were  heard, 
for  the  young  man  was  Ali  Tepeleni,  and  I  who 
speak  am  he !  " 

The  old  woman  stood  overwhelmed  with  aston- 
ishment.    She  departed  calling  down  blessings  on 
the  pacha,  who  assured  her  a  pension  of  fifteen  hun- 
dred francs  for  the  rest  of  her  days. 


But  these  two  good  actions  are  only  flashes  of 
light  illuminating  the  dark  horizon  of  Ali's  life  for 
a  brief  moment.  Returned  to  Janina,  he  resumed 
his  tyranny,  his  intrigues,  and  cruelty.  Not  con- 
tent with  the  vast  territory  which  owned  his  sway, 
he  again  invaded  that  of  his  neighbours  on  every 
pretext.  Phocis,  CEtolia,  Acarnania,  were  by  turns 
occupied  by  his  troops,  the  country  ravaged,  and  the 
inhabitants  decimated.  At  the  same  time  he  com- 
pelled Ibrahim  Pacha  to  surrender  his  last  remain- 
ing daughter,  and  give  her  in  marriage  to  his 
nephew,  Aden  Bey,  the  son  of  Cha'initza.  This 
new  alliance  with  a  family  he  had  so  often  attacked 
and  despoiled  gave  him  fresh  arms  against  it, 
whether  by  being  enabled  better  to  watch  the  pacha's 
sons,  or  to  entice  them  into  some  snare  with  greater 

Whilst  he  thus  married  his  nephew,  he  did  not 
neglect  the  advancement  of  his  sons.  By  the  aid  of 
the  French  Ambassador,  whom  he  had  convinced 
of  his  devotion  to  the  Emperor  Napoleon,  he  suc- 
ceeded in  getting  the  pachalik  of  Morea  bestowed  on 
Veli,  and  that  of  Lepanto  on  Mouktar.  But  as 
in  placing  his  sons  in  these  exalted  positions  his  only 
aim  was  to  aggrandise  and  consolidate  his  own 
power,  he  himself  ordered  their  retinues,  giving 
them  officers  of  his  own  choosing.  When  they  de- 
parted to  their  governments,  he  kept  their  wives, 



their  children,  and  even  their  furniture  as  pledges, 
saying  that  they  ought  not  to  be  encumbered  with 
domestic  establishments  in  time  of  war,  Turkey 
just  then  being  at  open  war  with  England.  He  also 
made  use  of  this  opportunity  to  get  rid  of  people 
who  displeased  him,  among  others,  of  a  certain 
Ismail  Pacho  Bey,  who  had  been  alternately  both 
tool  and  enemy,  whom  he  made  secretary  to  his 
son  Veli,  professedly  as  a  pledge  of  reconciliation 
and  favour,  but  really  in  order  to  despoil  him  more 
easily  of  the  considerable  property  which  he  pos- 
sessed at  Janina.  Pacho  was  not  deceived,  and 
showed  his  resentment  openly.  "  The  wretch  ban- 
ishes me,"  he  cried,  pointing  out  Ali,  who  was  sit- 
ting at  a  window  in  the  palace,  "  he  sends  me  away 
in  order  to  rob  me;  but  I  will  avenge  myself  what- 
ever happens,  and  I  shall  die  content  if  I  can  procure 
his  destruction  at  the  price  of  my  own." 

Continually  increasing  his  power,  Ali  endeav- 
oured to  consolidate  it  permanently.  He  had  en- 
tered by  degrees  into  secret  negotiations  with  all 
the  great  powers  of  Europe,  hoping  in  the  end  to 
make  himself  independent,  and  to  obtain  recogni- 
tion as  Prince  of  Greece.  A  mysterious  and  unfore- 
seen incident  betrayed  this  to  the  Porte,  and  fur- 
nished actual  proofs  of  his  treason  in  letters 
confirmed  by  Ali's  own  seal.  The  Sultan  Selim 
immediately  sent  to  Janina  a  "  kapidgi-bachi,"  or 


plenipotentiary,  to  examine  into  the  case  and  try  the 

Arrived  at  Janina,  this  officer  placed  before  Ali 
the  proofs  of  his  understanding  with  the  enemies  of 
the  State.  Ali  was  not  strong-  enough  to  throw  off 
the  mask,  and  yet  could  not  deny  such  overwhelm- 
ing evidence.     He  determined  to  obtain  time. 

"  No  wonder,"  said  he,  "  that  I  appear  guilty  in 
the  eyes  of  His  Highness.  This  seal  is  certainly 
mine,  I  cannot  deny  it;  but  the  writing  is  not  that 
of  my  secretaries,  and  the  seal  must  have  been  ob- 
tained and  used  to  sign  these  guilty  letters  in  order 
to  ruin  me.  I  pray  you  to  grant  me  a  few  days  in 
order  to  clear  up  this  iniquitous  mystery,  which 
compromises  me  in  the  eyes  of  my  master  the  sultan 
and  of  all  good  Mahommedans.  May  Allah  grant 
me  the  means  of  proving  my  innocence,  which  is  as 
pure  as  the  rays  of  the  sun,  although  everything 
seems  against  me !  " 

After  this  conference,  Ali,  pretending  to  be  en- 
gaged in  a  secret  inquiry,  considered  how  he  could 
legally  escape  from  this  predicament.  He  spent 
some  days  in  making  plans  which  were  given  up  as 
soon  as  formed,  until  his  fertile  genius  at  length 
suggested  a  means  of  getting  clear  of  one  of  the 
greatest  difficulties  in  which  he  had  ever  found 
himself.  Sending  for  a  Greek  whom  he  had  often 
employed,  he  addressed  him  thus : — 


"  Thou  knowest  I  have  always  shown  thee  fa- 
vour, and  the  day  is  arrived  when  thy  fortune  shall 
be  made.  Henceforth  thou  shalt  be  as  my  son,  thy 
children  shall  be  as  mine,  my  house  shall  be  thy 
home,  and  in  return  for  my  benefits  I  require  one 
small  service.  This  accursed  kapidgi-bachi  has  come 
hither  bringing  certain  papers  signed  with  my  seal, 
intending  to  use  them  to  my  discredit,  and  thus  to 
extort  money  from  me.  Of  money  I  have  already 
given  too  much,  and  I  intend  this  time  to  escape 
without  being  plundered  except  for  the  sake  of  a 
good  servant  like  thee.  Therefore,  my  son,  thou 
shalt  go  before  the  tribunal  when  I  tell  thee,  and 
declare  before  this  kapidgi-bachi  and  the  cadi  that 
thou  hast  written  these  letters  attributed  to  me,  and 
that  thou  didst  seal  them  with  my  seal,  in  order  to 
give  them  due  weight  and  importance." 

The  unhappy  Greek  grew  pale  and  strove  to 

"  What  f earest  thou,  my  son  ?  "  resumed  Ali. 
"  Speak,  am  I  not  thy  good  master  ?  Thou  wilt  be 
sure  of  my  lasting  favour,  and  who  is  there  to 
dread  when  I  protect  thee  ?  Is  it  the  kapidgi-bachi  ? 
he  has  no  authority  here.  I  have  thrown  twenty 
as  good  as  he  into  the  lake!  If  more  is  required  to 
reassure  thee,  I  swear  by  the  Prophet,  by  my  own 
and  my  sons'  heads,  that  no  harm  shall  come  to 
thee  from  him.  Be  ready,  then,  to  do  as  I  tell  thee, 


and  beware  of  mentioning  this  matter  to  anyone,  in 
order  that  all  may  be  accomplished  according  to  our 
mutual  wishes." 

More  terrified  by  dread  of  the  pacha,  from  whose 
wrath  in  case  of  refusal  there  was  no  chance  of 
escape,  than  tempted  by  his  promises,  the  Greek 
undertook  the  false  swearing  required.  Ali,  de- 
lighted, dismissed  him  with  a  thousand  assurances 
of  protection,  and  then  requested  the  presence  of 
the  sultan's  envoy,  to  whom  he  said,  with  much 
emotion — 

"  I  have  at  length  unravelled  the  infernal  plot  laid 
against  me ;  it  is  the  work  of  a  man  in  the  pay  of  the 
implacable  enemies  of  the  Sublime  Porte,  and  who 
is  a  Russian  agent.  He  is  in  my  power,  and  I  have 
given  him  hopes  of  pardon  on  condition  of  full 
confession.  Will  you  then  summon  the  cadi,  the 
judges  and  ecclesiastics  of  the  town,  in  order 
that  they  may  hear  the  guilty  man's  deposition, 
and  that  the  light  of  truth  may  purify  their 
minds?  " 

The  tribunal  was  soon  assembled,  and  the  trem- 
bling Greek  appeared  in  the  midst  of  a  solemn 
silence.  "  Knowest  thou  this  writing?"  demanded 
the  cadi— "It  is  mine."— "  And  this  seal?"— "It 
is  that  of  my  master,  Ali  Pacha." — "  How  does  it 
come  to  be  placed  at  the  foot  of  these  letters?  " — "  I 
did  this  by  order  of  my  chief,  abusing  the  confidence 


of  my  master,  who  occasionally  allowed  me  to  use 
it  to  sign  his  orders." — "It  is  enough:  thou  canst 

Uneasy  as  to  the  success  of  his  intrigue,  Ali  was 
approaching  the  Hall  of  Justice.  As  he  entered  the 
court,  the  Greek,  who  had  just  finished  his  exam- 
ination, threw  himself  at  his  feet,  assuring  him  that 
all  had  gone  well.  "  It  is  good,"  said  Ali ;  "  thou 
shalt  have  thy  reward."  Turning  round,  he  made 
a  sign  to  his  guards,  who  had  their  orders,  and  who 
instantly  seized  the  unhappy  Greek,  and.  drowning 
his  voice  with  their  shouts,  hung  him  in  the  court- 
yard. This  execution  finished,  the  pacha  presented 
himself  before  the  judges  and  inquired  the  result  of 
their  investigation.  He  was  answered  by  a  burst 
of  congratulation.  "  Well,"  said  he,  "  the  guilty 
author  of  this  plot  aimed  at  me  is  no  more;  I  or- 
dered him  to  be  hung  without  waiting  to  hear  your 
decision.  May  all  enemies  of  our  glorious  sultan 
perish  even  as  he!  " 

A  report  of  what  had  occurred  was  immediately 
drawn  up,  and,  to  assist  matters  still  further,  Ali 
sent  the  kapidgi-bachi  a  gift  of  fifty  purses,  which 
he  accepted  without  difficulty,  and  also  secured 
the  favour  of  the  Divan  by  considerable  presents. 
The  sultan,  yielding  to  the  advice  of  his  coun- 
cillors, appeared  to  have  again  received  him  into 



But  AH  knew  well  that  this  appearance  of  sun- 
shine was  entirely  deceptive,  and  that  Selim  only 
professed  to  believe  in  his  innocence  until  the  day 
should  arrive  when  the  sultan  could  safely  punish 
his  treason.  He  sought  therefore  to  compass  the 
latter's  downfall,  and  made  common  cause  with  his 
enemies,  both  internal  and  external.  A  conspiracy, 
hatched  between  the  discontented  pachas  and  the 
English  agents,  shortly  broke  out,  and  one  day, 
when  Ali  was  presiding  at  the  artillery  practice  of 
some  French  gunners  sent  to  Albania  by  the  Gov- 
ernor of  Ulyria,  a  Tartar  brought  him  news  of  the 
deposition  of  Selim,  who  was  succeeded  by  his 
nephew  Mustapha.  Ali  sprang  up  in  delight,  and 
publicly  thanked  Allah  for  this  great  good  fortune. 
He  really  did  profit  by  this  change  of  rulers,  but  he 
profited  yet  more  by  a  second  revolution  which 
caused  the  deaths  both  of  Selim,  whom  the  pro- 
moters wished  to  re-establish  on  the  throne,  and  of 
Mustapha  whose  downfall  they  intended.  Mah- 
moud  ii,  who  was  next  invested  with  the  scimitar  of 
Othman,  came  to  the  throne  in  troublous  times, 
after  much  bloodshed,  in  the  midst  of  great  political 
upheavals,  and  had  neither  the  will  nor  the  power  to 
attack  one  of  his  most  powerful  vassals.  He  re- 
ceived with  evident  satisfaction  the  million  piastres 
which,  at  his  installation,  Ali  hastened  to  send  as  a 
proof  of  his  devotion,  assured  the  pacha  of  his 


favour,  and  confirmed  both  him  and  his  sons  in  their 
offices  and  dignities.  This  fortunate  change  in  his 
position  brought  Ali's  pride  and  audacity  to  a  cli- 
max. Free  from  pressing-  anxiety,  he  determined 
to  carry  out  a  project  which  had  been  the  dream 
of  his  life. 



AFTER  taking  possession  of  Argyro-Castron, 
JT\.  which  he  had  long  coveted,  AH  led  his  vic- 
torious army  against  the  town  of  Kardiki,  whose 
inhabitants  had  formerly  joined  with  those  of  Kor- 
movo  in  the  outrage  inflicted  on  his  mother  and 
sister.  The  besieged,  knowing  they  had  no  mercy 
to  hope  for,  defended  themselves  bravely,  but  were 
obliged  to  yield  to  famine.  After  a  month's  block- 
ade, the  common  people,  having  no  food  for  them- 
selves or  their  cattle,  began  to  cry  for  mercy  in  the 
open  streets,  and  their  chiefs,  intimidate^  by  the 
general  misery  and  unable  to  stand  alone,  consented 
to  capitulate.  Ali,  whose  intentions  as  to  the  fate 
of  this  unhappy  town  were  irrevocably  decided, 
agreed  to  all  that  they  asked.  A  treaty  was  signed 
by  both  parties,  and  solemnly  sworn  to  on  the 
Koran,  in  virtue  of  which  seventy-two  beys,  heads 
of  the  principal  Albanian  families,  were  to  go  to 
Janina  as  free  men,  and  fully  armed.  They  were 
to  be  received  with  the  honours  due  to  their  rank 
as  free  tenants  of  the  sultan,  their  lives  and  their 
families  were  to  be  spared,  and  also  their  posses- 


sions.  The  oilier  inhabitants  of  Kardiki.  being  Mo- 
hammedans, and  therefore  brothers  of  Ali,  were  to 
be  treated  as  friends  and  retain  their  lives  and  prop- 
erty. On  these  conditions  a  quarter  of  the  town 
was  to  be  occupied  by  the  victorious  troops. 

One  of  the  principal  chiefs,  Saleh  Bey,  and  his 
wife,  foreseeing  the  fate  which  awaited  their 
friends,  committed  suicide  at  the  moment  when,  in 
pursuance  of  the  treaty,  Ali's  soldiers  took  pos- 
session of  the  quarter  assigned  to  them. 

Ali  received  the  seventy-two  beys  with  all  marks 
of  friendship  when  they  arrived  at  Janina.  He 
lodged  them  in  a  palace  on  the  lake,  and  treated 
them  magnificently  for  some  days.  But  soon,  hav- 
ing contrived  on  some  pretext  to  disarm  them,  he 
had  them  conveyed,  loaded  with  chains,  to  a  Greek 
convent  on  an  island  in  the  lake,  which  was  con- 
verted into  a  prison.  The  day  of  vengeance  not 
having  fully  arrived,  he  explained  this  breach  of 
faith  by  declaring  that  the  hostages  had  attempted 
to  escape. 

The  popular  credulity  was  satisfied  by  this  ex- 
planation, and  no  one  doubted  the  good  faith  of 
the  pacha  when  he  announced  that  he  was  going  to 
Kardiki  to  establish  a  police  and  fulfil  the  promises 
he  had  made  to  the  inhabitants.  Even  the  number 
of  soldiers  he  took  excited  no  surprise,  as  Ali  was 
accustomed  to  travel  with  a  very  numerous  suite. 


After  three  days'  journey,  he  stopped  at  Libok 
hovo,  where  his  sister  had  resided  since  the  death 
of  Aden  Bey,  her  second  son,  cut  off  recently  by 
sickness.  What  passed  in  the  long  interview  they 
had  no  one  knew,  but  it  was  observed  that  Cha- 
initza's  tears,  which  till  then  had  flowed  incessant- 
ly, stopped  as  if  by  magic,  and  her  women,  who 
were  wearing  mourning,  received  an  order  to  at- 
tire themselves  as  for  a  festival.  Feasting  and 
dancing,  begun  in  Ali's  honour,  did  not  cease  after 
his  departure. 

He  spent  the  night  at  Chenderia,  a  castle  built 
on  a  rock,  whence  the  town  of  Kardiki  was  plainly 
visible.  Next  day  at  daybreak  Ali  despatched  an 
usher  to  summon  all  the  male  inhabitants  of  Kar- 
diki to  appear  before  Chenderia,  in  order  to  receive 
assurances  of  the  pacha's  pardon  and  friendship. 

The  Kardikiotes  at  once  divined  that  this  injunc- 
tion was  the  precursor  of  a  terrible  vengeance:  the 
whole  town  echoed  with  cries  and  groans,  the 
mosques  were  filled  with  people  praying  for  de- 
liverance. The  appointed  time  arrived,  they  em- 
braced each  other  as  if  parting  for  ever,  and  then 
the  men,  unarmed,  in  number  six  hundred  and 
seventy,  started  for  Chenderia.  At  the  gate  of  the 
town  they  encountered  a  troop  of  Albanians,  who 
followed  as  if  to  escort  them,  and  which  increased 
in  number  as  they  proceeded.  Soon  they  arrived 


in  the  dread  presence  of  AH  Pacha.  Grouped  in 
formidable  masses  around  him  stood  several  thou- 
sand of  his  fierce  soldiery. 

The  unhappy  Kardikiotes  realised  their  utter 
helplessness,  and  saw  that  they,  their  wives  and 
children,  were  completely  at  the  mercy  of  their 
implacable  enemy.  They  fell  prostrate  before  the 
pacha,  and  with  all  the  fervour  which  the  utmost 
terror  could  inspire,  implored  him  to  grant  them 
a  generous  pardon. 

Ali  for  some  time  silently  enjoyed  the  pleasure 
of  seeing  his  ancient  enemies  lying  before  him 
prostrate  in  the  dust.  He  then  desired  them  to 
rise,  reassured  them,  called  them  brothers,  sons, 
friends  of  his  heart.  Distinguishing  some  of  his 
old  acquaintances,  he  called  them  to  him,  spoke 
familiarly  of  the  days  of  their  youth,  of  their 
games,  their  early  friendships,  and  pointing  to  the 
young  men,  said,  with  tears  in  his  eyes — 

"  The  discord  which  has  divided  us  for  so  many 
years  has  allowed  children  not  born  at  the  time  of 
our  dissension  to  grow  into  men.  I  have  lost  the 
pleasure  of  watching  the  development  of  the  off- 
spring of  my  neighbours  and  the  early  friends  of 
my  youth,  and  of  bestowing  benefits  on  them,  but 
I  hope  shortly  to  repair  the  natural  results  of  our 
melancholy  divisions." 

He  then  made  them  splendid  promises,  and  or- 


dered  them  to  assemble  in  a  neighbouring  cara- 
vanserai, where  he  wished  to  give  them  a  banquet 
in  proof  of  reconciliation.  Passing  from  the 
depths  of  despair  to  transports  of  joy,  the  Kardi- 
kiotes  repaired  gaily  to  the  caravanserai,  heaping 
blessings  on  the  pacha,  and  blaming  each  other  for 
having  ever  doubted  his  good  faith. 

Ali  was  carried  down  from  Chenderia  in  a  litter, 
attended  by  his  courtiers,  who  celebrated  his  clem- 
ency in  pompous  speeches,  to  which  he  replied  with 
gracious  smiles.  At  the  foot  of  the  steep  descent 
he  mounted  his  horse,  and,  followed  by  his  troops, 
rode  towards  the  caravanserai.  Alone,  and  in  si- 
lence, he  rode  twice  round  it,  then,  returning  to  the 
gate,  which  had  just  been  closed  by  his  order,  he 
pulled  up  his  horse,  and,  signing  to  his  own  body- 
guard to  attack  the  building,  "  Slay  them !"  he 
cried  in  a  voice  of  thunder. 

The  guards  remained  motionless  in  surprise  and 
horror,  then  as  the  pacha,  with  a  roar,  repeated  his 
order,  they  indignantly  flung  down  their  arms.  In 
vain  he  harangued,  flattered,  or  threatened  them; 
some  preserved  a  sullen  silence,  others  ventured  to 
demand  mercy.  Then  he  ordered  them  away,  and, 
calling  on  the  Christian  Mirdites  who  served  under 
his  banner — 

"  To  you,  brave  Latins,"  he  cried,  "  I  will  now 
entrust  the  duty  of  exterminating  the  foes  of  my 



race.  Avenge  me,  and  I  will  reward  you  magni- 

A  confused  murmur  rose  from  the  ranks.  Ali 
imagined  they  were  consulting  as  to  what  recom- 
pense should  be  required  as  the  price  of  such  a 

"  Speak,"  said  he;  "  I  am  ready  to  listen  to  your 
demands  and  to  satisfy  them." 

Then  the  Mirdite  leader  came  forward  and  threw 
back  the  hood  of  his  black  cloak. 

"O  Pacha!"  said  he,  looking  Ali  boldly  in  the 
face,  "  thy  words  are  an  insult ;  the  Mirdites  do  not 
slaughter  unarmed  prisoners  in  cold  blood.  Re- 
lease the  Kardikiotes,  give  them  arms,  and  we  will 
fight  them  to  the  death ;  but  we  serve  thee  as  sol- 
diers and  not  as  executioners." 

At  these  words,  which  the  black-cloaked  bat- 
talion received  with  applause,  Ali  thought  himself 
betrayed,  and  looked  around  with  doubt  and  mis- 
trust. Fear  was  nearly  taking  the  place  of  mercy, 
words  of  pardon  were  on  his  lips,  when  a  certain 
Athanasius  Vaya,  a  Greek  schismatic,  and  a  fa- 
vourite of  the  pacha's,  whose  illegitimate  son  he 
was  supposed  to  be,  advanced  at  the  head  of  the 
scum  of  the  army,  and  offered  to  carry  out  the 
death  sentence.  Ali  applauded  his  zeal,  gave  him 
full  authority  to  act,  and  spurred  his  horse  to  the 
top  of  a  neighbouring  hill,  the  better  to  enjoy  the 


spectacle.  The  Christian  Mirdites  and  the  Moham- 
medan guards  knelt  together  to  pray  for  the  miser- 
able  Kardikiotes,  whose  last  hour  had  come. 

The  caravanserai  where  they  were  shut  in  was 
a  square  enclosure,  open  to  the  sky,  and  intended 
to  shelter  herds  of  buffaloes.  The  prisoners  having 
heard  nothing  of  what  passed  outside,  were  aston- 
ished to  behold  Athanasius  Vaya  and  his  troop  ap- 
pearing on  the  top  of  the  wall.  They  did  not  long 
remain  in  doubt.  AH  gave  the  signal  by  a  pistol- 
shot,  and  a  general  fusillade  followed.  Terrible 
cries  echoed  from  the  court;  the  prisoners,  terri- 
fied, wounded,  crowded  one  upon  another  for  shel- 
ter. Some  ran  frantically  hither  and  thither  in  this 
enclosure  with  no  shelter  and  no  exit,  until  they 
fell,  struck  down  by  bullets.  Some  tried  to  climb 
the  walls,  in  hope  of  either  escape  or  vengeance, 
only  to  be  flung  back  by  either  scimitars  or  muskets. 
It  was  a  terrible  scene  of  despair  and  death. 

After  an  hour  of  firing,  a  gloomy  silence  de- 
scended on  the  place,  now  occupied  solely  by  a  heap 
of  corpses.  Ali  forbade  any  burial  rites  on  pain  of 
death,  and  placed  over  the  gate  an  inscription  in 
letters  of  gold,  informing  posterity  that  six  hun- 
dred Kardikiotes  had  there  been  sacrificed  to  the 
memory  of  his  mother  Kamco. 

When  the  shrieks  of  death  ceased  in  the  enclo- 
sure, they  began  to  be  heard  in  the  town.  The  as- 


sassins  spread  themselves  through  it,  and  having 
violated  the  women  and  children,  gathered  them  in- 
to a  crowd  to  be  driven  to  Libokovo.  At  every  halt 
in  this  frightful  journey  fresh  marauders  fell  on 
the  wretched  victims,  claiming  their  share  in  cruel- 
ty and  debauchery.  At  length  they  arrived  at  their 
destination,  where  the  triumphant  and  implacable 
Cha'initza  awaited  them.  As  after  the  taking  of 
Kormovo,  she  compelled  the  women  to  cut  off  their 
hair  and  to  stuff  with  it  a  mattress  on  which  she  lay. 
She  then  stripped  them,  and  joyfully  narrated  to 
them  the  massacre  of  their  husbands,  fathers,  broth- 
ers and  sons,  and  when  she  had  sufficiently  enjoyed 
their  misery  they  were  again  handed  over  to  the 
insults  of  the  soldiery.  Cha'initza  finally  published 
an  edict  forbidding  either  clothes,  shelter,  or  food 
to  be  given  to  the  women  and  children  of  Kardiki, 
who  were  then  driven  forth  into  the  woods  either 
to  die  of  hunger  or  to  be  devoured  by  wild  beasts. 
As  to  the  seventy-two  hostages,  Ali  put  them  all  to 
death  when  he  returned  to  Janina.  His  vengeance 
was  indeed  complete. 

But  as,  filled  with  a  horrible  satisfaction,  the 
pacha  was  enjoying  the  repose  of  a  satiated  tiger, 
an  indignant  and  threatening  voice  reached  him  even 
in  the  recesses  of  his  palace.  The  Sheik  Yussuf, 
governor  of  the  castle  of  Janina,  venerated  as  a 
saint  by  the  Mohammedans  on  account  of  his  piety, 


and  universally  beloved  and  respected  for  his  many 
virtues,  entered  Ali's  sumptuous  dwelling  for  the 
first  time.  The  guards  on  beholding  him  remained 
stupefied  and  motionless,  then  the  most  devout  pros- 
trated themselves,  while  others  went  to  inform  the 
pacha ;  but  no  one  dared  hinder  the  venerable  man, 
who  walked  calmly  and  solemnly  through  the 
astonished  attendants.  For  him  there  existed  no 
antechamber,  no  delay;  disdaining  the  ordinary 
forms  of  etiquette,  he  paced  slowly  through  the 
various  apartments,  until;  with  no  usher  to  announce 
him,  he  reached  that  of  Ali.  The  latter,  whose 
impiety  by  no  means  saved  him  from  superstitious 
terrors,  rose  hastily  from  the  divan  and  advanced 
to  meet  the  holy  sheik,  who  was  followed  by  a  crowd 
of  silent  courtiers.  Ali  addressed  him  with  the 
utmost  respect,  and  endeavoured  even  to  kiss  his 
right  hand.  Yussuf  hastily  withdrew  it,  covered  it 
with  his  mantle,  and  signed  to  the  pacha  to  seat 
himself.  Ali  mechanically  obeyed,  and  waited  in 
solemn  silence  to  hear  the  reason  of  this  unexpected 

Yussuf  desired  him  to  listen  with  all  attention, 
and  then  reproached  him  for  his  injustice  and 
rapine,  his  treachery  and  cruelty,  with  such  vivid 
eloquence  that  his  hearers  dissolved  in  tears.  Ali, 
though  much  dejected,  alone  preserved  his  equanim- 
ity, until  at  length  the  sheik  accused  him  of  having 



caused  the  death  of  Emineh.     He  then  grew  pale, 
and  rising,  cried  with  terror — 

"  Alas !  my  father,  whose  name  do  you  now  pro- 
nounce? Pray  for  me,  or  at  least  do  not  sink  me  to 
Gehenna  with  your  curses!  " 

"  There  is  no  need  to  curse  thee,"  answered 
Yussuf.  "  Thine  own  crimes  bear  witness  against 
thee.  Allah  has  heard  their  cry.  He  will  summon 
thee,  judge  thee,  and  punish  thee  eternally.  Trem- 
ble, for  the  time  is  at  hand!  Thine  hour  is  coming 
— is  coming — is  coming!  " 

Casting  a  terrible  glance  at  the  pacha,  the  holy 
man  turned  his  back  on  him,  and  stalked  out  of  the 
apartment  without  another  word. 

Ali,  in  terror,  demanded  a  thousand  pieces  of 
gold,  put  them  in  a  white  satin  purse,  and  himself 
hastened  with  them  to  overtake  the  sheik,  imploring 
him  to  recall  his  threats.  But  Yussuf  deigned  no 
answer,  and  arrived  at  the  threshold  of  the  palace, 
shook  off  the  dust  of  his  feet  against  it. 

Ali  returned  to  his  apartment  sad  and  downcast, 
and  many  days  elapsed  before  he  could  shake 
off  the  depression  caused  by  this  scene.  But  soon 
he  felt  more  ashamed  of  his  inaction  than  of  the 
reproaches  which  had  caused  it,  and  on  the  first 
opportunity  resumed  his  usual  mode  of  life. 

The  occasion  was  the  marriage  of  Mousta'i,  Pacha 
of  Scodra,  with  the  eldest  daughter  of  Veli  Pacha, 


called  the  Princess  of  Aulis,  because  she  had  for 
dowry  whole  villages  in  that  district.  Immediately 
after  the  announcement  of  this  marriage  Ali  set  on 
foot  a  sort  of  saturnalia,  about  the  details  of  which 
there  seemed  to  be  as  much  mystery  as  if  he  had 
been  preparing  an  assassination. 

All  at  once,  as  if  by  a  sudden  inundation,  the  very 
scum  of  the  earth  appeared  to  spread  over  Janina. 
The  populace,  as  if  trying  to  drown  their  misery, 
plunged  into  a  drunkenness  which  simulated 
pleasure.  Disorderly  bands  of  mountebanks  from 
the  depths  of  Roumelia  traversed  the  streets,  the 
bazaars  and  public  places;  flocks  and  herds,  with 
fleeces  dyed  scarlet,  and  gilded  horns,  were  seen  on 
all  the  roads  driven  to  the  court  by  peasants  under 
the  guidance  of  their  priests.  Bishops,  abbots, 
ecclesiastics  generally,  were  compelled  to  drink,  and 
to  take  part  in  ridiculous  and  indecent  dances,  Ali 
apparently  thinking  to  raise  himself  by  degrading 
his  more  respectable  subjects.  Day  and  night  these 
spectacles  succeeded  each  other  with  increasing 
rapidity,  the  air  resounded  with  firing,  songs,  cries, 
music,  and  the  roaring  of  wild  beasts  in  shows. 
Enormous  spits,  loaded  with  meat,  smoked  before 
huge  braziers,  and  wine  ran  in  floods  at  tables  pre- 
pared in  the  palace  courts.  Troops  of  brutal 
soldiers  drove  workmen  from  their  labour  with 
whips,  and  compelled  them  to  join  in  the  entertain- 



ments;  dirty  and  impudent  jugglers  invaded  private 
houses,  and  pretending  that  they  had  orders  from 
the  pacha  to  display  their  skill,  carried  boldly  off 
whatever  they  could  lay  their  hands  upon.  Ali  saw 
the  general  demoralization  with  pleasure,  especially 
as  it  tended  to  the  gratification  of  his  avarice. 
Every  guest  was  expected  to  bring  to  the  palace 
gate  a  gift  in  proportion  to  his  means,  and  four 
officers  watched  to  see  that  no  one  forgot  this  obli- 
gation. At  length,  on  the  nineteenth  day,  Ali 
resolved  to  crown  the  feast  by  an  orgy  worthy  of 
himself.  He  caused  the  galleries  and  halls  of  his 
castle  by  the  lake  to  be  decorated  with  unheard-of 
splendour,  and  fifteen  hundred  guests  assembled  for 
a  solemn  banquet.  The  pacha  appeared  in  all  his 
glory,  surrounded  by  his  noble  attendants  and  cour- 
tiers, and  seating  himself  on  a  dais  raised  above 
this  base  crowd  which  trembled  at  his  glance,  gave 
the  signal  to  begin.  At  his  voice,  vice  plunged  into 
its  most  shameless  diversions,  and  the  wine-steeped 
wings  of  debauchery  outspread  themselves  over  the 
feast.  All  tongues  were  at  their  freest,  all  imagina- 
tions ran  wild,  all  evil  passions  were  at  their  height, 
when  suddenly  the  noise  ceased,  and  the  guests 
clung  together  in  terror.  A  man  stood  at  the 
entrance  of  the  hall,  pale,  disordered,  and  wild-eyed, 
clothed  in  torn  and  blood-stained  garments.  As 
sveryone    made   way    at    his    approach,    he    easily 



reached  the  pacha,  and  prostrating  himself  at  his 
feet,  presented  a  letter.  Ali  opened  and  rapidly- 
perused  it;  his  lips  trembled,  his  eyebrows  met  in  a 
terrible  frown,  the  muscles  of  his  forehead  con- 
tracted alarmingly.  He  vainly  endeavoured  to  smile 
and  to  look  as  if  nothing  had  happened,  his  agita- 
tion betrayed  him,  and  he  was  obliged  to  retire, 
after  desiring  a  herald  to  announce  that  he  wished 
the  banquet  to  continue. 

Now  for  the  subject  of  the  message,  and  the  cause 
of  the  dismay  it  produced. 



A  LI  had  long  cherished  a  violent  passion  for 
Zobeide,  the  wife  of  his  son  Veli  Pacha. 
Having  vainly  attempted  to  gratify  it  after  his  son's 
departure,  and  being  indignantly  repulsed,  he  had 
recourse  to  drugs,  and  the  unhappy  Zobeide 
remained  in  ignorance  of  her  misfortune  until  she 
•found  she  was  pregnant.  Then,  half-avowals  from 
her  women,  compelled  to  obey  the  pacha  from  fear 
of  death,  mixed  with  confused  memories  of  her 
own,  revealed  the  whole  terrible  truth.  Not  know- 
ing in  her  despair  which  way  to  turn,  she  wrote  to 
Ali,  entreating  him  to  visit  the  harem.  As  head 
of  the  family,  he  had  a  right  to  enter,  being  sup- 
posed responsible  for  the  conduct  of  his  sons'  fam- 
ilies, no  law-giver  having  hitherto  contemplated  the 
possibility  of  so  disgraceful  a  crime.  When  he 
appeared,  Zobeide  flung  herself  at  his  feet,  speech- 
less with  grief.  Ali  acknowledged  his  guilt,  pleaded 
the  violence  of  his  passion,  wept  with  his  victim, 
and  entreating  her  to  control  herself  and  keep 
silence,  promised  that  all  should  be  made  right. 
Neither  the  prayers  nor  tears  of  Zobeide  could 


induce  him  to  give  up  the  intention  of  effacing  the 
traces  of  his  first  crime  by  a  second  even  more 

But  the  story  was  already  whispered  abroad,  and 
Pacho  Bey  learnt  all  its  details  from  the  spies  he 
kept  in  Janina.  Delighted  at  the  prospect  of  aveng- 
ing himself  on  the  father,  he  hastened  with  his 
news  to  the  son.  Veli  Pacha,  furious,  vowed  ven- 
geance, and  demanded  Pacho  Bey's  help,  which  was 
readily  promised.  But  Ali  had  been  warned,  and 
was  not  a  man  to  be  taken  unawares.  Pacho  Bey, 
whom  Veli  had  just  promoted  to  the  office  of  sword- 
bearer,  was  attacked  in  broad  daylight  by  six  emis- 
saries sent  from  Janina.  He  obtained  timely  help, 
however,  and  five  of  the  assassins,  taken  red- 
handed,  were  at  once  hung  without  ceremony  in 
the  market-place.  The  sixth  was  the  messenger 
whose  arrival  with  the  news  had  caused  such  dis- 
may at  Ali's  banquet. 

As  Ali  reflected  how  the  storm  he  had  raised 
could  best  be  laid,  he  was  informed  that  the  ruler 
of  the  marriage  feast  sent  by  Moustai,  Pacha  of 
Scodra,  to  receive  the  young  bride  who  should  reign 
in  his  harem,  had  just  arrived  in  the  plain  of  Janina. 
He  was  Yussuf  Bey  of  the  Delres,  an  old  enemy 
of  Ali's,  and  had  encamped  with  his  escort  of  eight 
hundred  warriors  at  the  foot  of  Tomoros  of  Do- 
dona.  Dreading  some  treachery,  he  absolutely 


refused  all  entreaties  to  enter  the  town,  and  AH 
seeing  that  it  was  useless  to  insist,  and  that  his 
adversary  for  the  present  was  safe,  at  once  sent 
his  granddaughter,  the  Princess  of  Aulis,  out  to 

This  matter  disposed  of,  Ali  was  able  to  attend 
to  his  hideous  family  tragedy.  He  began  by  effect- 
ing the  disappearance  of  the  women  whom  he  had 
been  compelled  to  make  his  accomplices;  they  were 
simply  sewn  up  in  sacks  by  gipsies  and  thrown  into 
the  lake.  This  done,  he  himself  led  the  execution- 
ers into  a  subterranean  part  of  the  castle,  where 
they  were  beheaded  by  black  mutes  as  a  reward  for 
their  obedience.  He  then  sent  a  doctor  to  Zobeide, 
who  succeeded  in  causing  a  miscarriage,  and  who, 
his  work  done,  was  seized  and  strangled  by  the  black 
mutes  who  had  just  beheaded  the  gipsies.  Having 
thus  got  rid  of  all  who  could  bear  witness  to  his 
crime,  he  wrote  to  Veli  that  he  might  now  send  for 
his  wife  and  two  of  his  children,  hitherto  detained 
as  hostages,  and  that  the  innocence  of  Zobeide  would 
confound  a  calumniator  who  had  dared  to  assail 
him  with  such  injurious  suspicions. 

When  this  letter  arrived,  Pacho  Bey,  distrusting 
equally  the  treachery  of  the  father  and  the  weakness 
of  the  son,  and  content  with  having  sown  the  seeds 
of  dissension  in  his  enemy's  family,  had  sufficient 
wisdom  to  seek  safety  in  flight.  Ali,  furious, 


vowed,  on  hearing  this,  that  his  vengeance  should 
overtake  him  even  at  the  ends  of  the  earth.  Mean- 
while he  fell  back  on  Yussuf  Bey  of  the  Debres, 
whose  escape  when  lately  at  Janina  still  rankled  in 
his  mind.  As  Yussuf  was  dangerous  both  from 
character  and  influence,  AH  feared  to  attack  him 
openly,  and  sought  to  assassinate  him.  This  was 
not  precisely  easy;  for,  exposed  to  a  thousand 
dangers  of  this  kind,  the  nobles  of  that  day 
were  on  their  guard.  Steel  and  poison  were 
used  up,  and  another  way  had  to  be  sought.  AH 
found  it. 

One  of  the  many  adventurers  with  whom  Janina 
was  filled  penetrated  to  the  pacha's  presence,  and 
offered  to  sell  the  secret  of  a  powder  whereof  three 
grains  would  suffice  to  kill  a  man  with  a  terrible 
explosion — explosive  powder,  in  short.  AH  heard 
with  delight,  but  replied  that  he  must  see  it  in  action 
before  purchasing. 

In  the  dungeons  of  the  castle  by  the  lake,  a  poor 
monk  of  the  order  of  St.  Basil  was  slowly  dying, 
for  having  boldly  refused  a  sacrilegious  simony 
proposed  to  him  by  AH.  He  was  a  fit  subject  for  the 
experiment,  and  was  successfully  blown  to  pieces, 
to  the  great  satisfaction  of  AH,  who  concluded  his 
bargain,  and  hastened  to  make  use  of  it.  He  pre- 
pared a  false  firman,  which,  according  to  custom, 
was  enclosed  and  sealed  in  a  cylindrical  case,  and 


sent  to  Yussuf  Bey  by  a  Greek,  wholly  ignorant  of 
the  real  object  of  his  mission.  Opening  it  without 
suspicion,  Yussuf  had  his  arm  blown  off,  and  died 
in  consequence,  but  found  time  to  despatch  a  mes- 
sage to  Moustai  Pacha  of  Scodra,  informing  him 
of  the  catastrophe,  and  warning  him  to  keep  good 

Yussuf 's  letter  was  received  by  Moustai  just  as  a 
similar  infernal  machine  was  placed  in  his  hands 
under  cover  to  his  young  wife.  The  packet  was 
seized,  and  a  careful  examination  disclosed  its 
nature.  The  mother  of  Moustai,  a  jealous  and 
cruel  woman,  accused  her  daughter-in-law  of  com- 
plicity, and  the  unfortunate  Ayesha,  though  shortly 
to  become  a  mother,  expired  in  agony  from  the 
effects  of  poison,  only  guilty  of  being  the  innocent 
instrument  of  her  grandfather's  treachery. 

Fortune  having  frustrated  Ali's  schemes  concern- 
ing Moustai  Pacha,  offered  him  as  consolation  a 
chance  of  invading  the  territory  of  Parga,  the  only 
place  in  Epirus  which  had  hitherto  escaped  his  rule, 
and  which  he  greedily  coveted.  Agia,  a  small 
Christian  town  on  the  coast,  had  rebelled  against 
him  and  allied  itself  to  Parga.  It  provided  an  ex- 
cuse for  hostilities,  and  Ali's  troops,  under  his  son 
Mouktar,  first  seized  Agia,  where  they  only  found 
a  few  old  men  to  massacre,  and  then  marched  on 
Parga,  where  the  rebels  had  taken  refuge.  After  a 


few  skirmishes,  Mouktar  entered  the  town,  and 
though  the  Parganiotes  fought  bravely,  they  must 
inevitably  have  surrendered  had  they  been  left  to 
themselves.  But  they  had  sought  protection  from 
the  French,  who  had  garrisoned  the  citadel,  and  the 
French  grenadiers  descending  rapidly  from  the 
height,  charged  the  Turks  with  so  much  fury  that 
they  fled  in  all  directions,  leaving  on  the  field  four 
"  bimbashis,"  or  captains  of  a  thousand,  and  a  con- 
siderable number  of  killed  and  wounded. 

The  pacha's  fleet  succeeded  no  better  than  his 
army.  Issuing  from  the  Gulf  of  Ambracia,  it  was 
intended  to  attack  Parga  from  the  sea,  joining  in 
the  massacre,  and  cutting  off  all  hope  of  escape  from 
that  side,  Ali  meaning  to  spare  neither  the  garrison 
nor  any  male  inhabitants  over  twelve  years  of  age. 
But  a  few  shots  fired  from  a  small  fort  dispersed 
the  ships,  and  a  barque  manned  by  sailors  from 
Paxos  pursued  them,  a  shot  from  which  killed  Ali's 
admiral  on  his  quarter-deck.  He  was  a  Greek  of 
Galaxidi,  Athanasius  Macrys  by  name. 

Filled  with  anxiety,  Ali  awaited  news  at  Pre- 
vesa,  where  a  courier,  sent  off  at  the  beginning  of 
the  action,  had  brought  him  oranges  gathered  in 
the  orchards  of  Parga.  Ali  gave  him  a  purse  of 
gold,  and  publicly  proclaimed  his  success.  His  joy 
was  redoubled  when  a  second  messenger  presented 
two  heads  of  French  soldiers,  and  announced  that 


his  troops  were  in  possession  of  the  lower  part  of 
Parga.  Without  further  delay  he  ordered  his  at- 
tendants to  mount,  entered  his  carriage,  and  started 
triumphantly  on  the  Roman  road  to  Nicopolis.  He 
sent  messengers  to  his  generals,  ordering  them  to 
spare  the  women  and  children  of  Parga,  intended 
for  his  harem,  and  above  all  to  take  strict  charge  of 
the  plunder.  He  was  approaching  the  arena  of 
Nicopolis  when  a  third  Tartar  messenger  informed 
him  of  the  defeat  of  his  army.  Ali  changed  coun- 
tenance, and  could  scarcely  articulate  the  order  to 
return  to  Prevesa.  Once  in  his  palace,  he  gave  way 
to  such  fury  that  all  around  him  trembled,  demand- 
ing frequently  if  it  could  be  true  that  his  troops 
were  beaten.  "  May  your  misfortune  be  upon  us !  " 
his  attendants  answered,  prostrating  themselves. 
All  at  once,  looking  out  on  the  calm  blue  sea  which 
lay  before  his  windows,  he  perceived  his  fleet  doub- 
ling Cape  Pancrator  and  re-entering  the  Ambracian 
Gulf  under  full  sail;  it  anchored  close  by  the  pal- 
ace, and  on  hailing  the  leading  ship  a  speaking- 
trumpet  announced  to  Ali  the  death  of  his  admiral, 
Athanasius  Macrys. 

"  But  Parga,  Parga !  "  cried  Ali. 

"May  Allah  grant  the  pacha  long  life!  The 
Parganiotes  have  escaped  the  sword  of  His  High- 

"  It  is  the  will  of  Allah!  "  murmured  the  pacha, 



whose  head  sank  upon  his  breast  in  dejection. 
Arms  having  failed,  Ali,  as  usual,  took  refuge 
in  plots  and  treachery,  but  this  time,  instead  of  cur- 
rupting  his  enemies  with  gold,  he  sought  to  weaken 
them  by  division. 

22 1 1 


THE  French  commander  Nicole,  surnamed  the 
"  Pilgrim,"  on  account  of  a  journey  he  had 
once  made  to  Mecca,  had  spent  six  months  at  Janina 
with  a  brigade  of  artillery  which  General  Marmont, 
then  commanding  in  the  Illyrian  provinces,  had  for 
a  time  placed  at  Ali's  disposal.  The  old  officer  had 
acquired  the  esteem  and  friendship  of  the  pacha, 
whose  leisure  he  had  often  amused  by  stories  of  his 
campaigns  and  various  adventures,  and  although  it 
was  now  long  since  they  had  met,  he  still  had  the 
reputation  of  being  Ali's  friend.  Ali  prepared  his 
plans  accordingly.  He  wrote  a  letter  to  Colonel 
Nicole,  apparently  in  continuation  of  a  regular  cor- 
respondence between  them,  in  which  he  thanked  the 
colonel  for  his  continued  affection,  and  besought 
him  by  various  powerful  motives  to  surrender 
Parga,  of  which  he  promised  him  the  governorship 
during  the  rest  of  his  life.  He  took  good  care  to 
complete  his  treason  by  allowing  the  letter  to  fall 
into  the  hands  of  the  chief  ecclesiastics  of  Parga, 
who  fell  head-foremost  into  the  trap.  Seeing  that 
the  tone  of  the  letter  was  in  perfect  accordance  with 


the  former  friendly  relations  between  their  French 
governor  and  the  pacha,  they  were  convinced  of 
the  former's  treachery.  But  the  result  was  not  as 
Ali  had  hoped:  the  Parganiotes  resumed  their  for- 
mer negotiations  with  the  English,  preferring  to 
place  their  freedom  in  the  hands  of  a  Christian 
nation  rather  than  to  fall  under  the  rule  of  a 
Mohammedan  satrap.  The  English  immediately 
sent  a  messenger  to  Colonel  Nicole,  offering  hon- 
ourable conditions  of  capitulation.  The  colonel 
returned  a  decided  refusal,  and  threatened  to  blow 
up  the  place  if  the  inhabitants,  whose  intentions  he 
guessed,  made  the  slightest  hostile  movement. 
However,  a  few  days  later,  the  citadel  was  taken 
at  night,  owing  to  the  treachery  of  a  woman  who 
admitted  an  English  detachment;  and  the  next  day, 
to  the  general  astonishment,  the  British  standard 
floated  over  the  Acropolis  of  Parga. 

All  Greece  was  then  profoundly  stirred  by  a  faint 
gleam  of  the  dawn  of  liberty,  and  shaken  by  a  sup- 
pressed agitation.  The  Bourbons  again  reigned  in 
France,  and  the  Greeks  built  a  thousand  hopes  on 
an  event  which  changed  the  basis  of  the  whole  Euro- 
pean policy.  Above  all,  they  reckoned  on  powerful 
assistance  from  Russia.  But  England  had  already 
begun  to  dread  anything  which  could  increase  either 
the  possessions  or  the  influence  of  this  formidable 
power.     Above  all,   she  was  determined  that  the 

4— Dumas— Vol.  7  22I3 


Ottoman  Empire  should  remain  intact,  and  that  the 
Greek  navy,  beginning  to  be  formidable,  must  be 
destroyed.  With  these  objects  in  view,  negotia- 
tions with  Ali  Pacha  were  resumed.  The  latter  was 
still  smarting  under  his  recent  disappointment,  and 
to  all  overtures  answered  only,  "  Parga !  I  must 
have  Parga."  And  the  English  were  compelled  to 
yield  it! 

Trusting  to  the  word  of  General  Campbell,  who 
had  formally  promised,  on  its  surrender,  that  Parga 
should  be  classed  along  with  the  seven  Ionian  Isles, 
its  grateful  inhabitants  were  enjoying  a  delicious 
rest  after  the  storm,  when  a  letter  from  the  Lord 
High  Commissioner,  addressed  to  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  de  Bosset,  undeceived  them,  and  gave  warn- 
ing of  the  evils  which  were  to  burst  on  the  unhappy 

On  the  25th  of  March,  181 7,  notwithstanding  the 
solemn  promise  made  to  the  Parganiotes,  when  they 
admitted  the  British  troops,  that  they  should  always 
be  on  the  same  footing  as  the  Ionian  Isles,  a  treaty 
was  signed  at  Constantinople  by  the  British  Pleni- 
potentiary, which  stipulated  the  complete  and  abso- 
lute cession  of  Parga  and  all  its  territory  to  the 
Ottoman  Empire.  Soon  there  arrived  at  Janina 
Sir  John  Cartwright,  the  English  Consul  at  Patras, 
to  arrange  for  the  sale  of  the  lands  of  the  Par- 
ganiotes and  discuss  the  conditions  of  their  emi- 



gration.  Never  before  had  any  such  compact  dis- 
graced European  diplomacy,  accustomed  hitherto  to 
regard  Turkish  encroachments  as  simple  sacrilege. 
But  Ali  Pacha  fascinated  the  English  agents,  over- 
whelming them  with  favours,  honours,  and  feasts, 
carefully  watching  them  all  the  while.  Their  cor- 
respondence was  intercepted,  and  he  endeavoured 
by  means  of  his  agents  to  rouse  the  Parganiotes 
against  them.  The  latter  lamented  bitterly,  and 
appealed  to  Christian  Europe,  which  remained  deaf 
to  their  cries.  In  the  name  of  their  ancestors,  they 
demanded  the  rights  which  had  been  guaranteed 
them.  "  They  will  buy  our  lands,"  they  said ;  "  have 
we  asked  to  sell  them?  And  even  if  we  received 
their  value,  can  gold  give  us  a  country  and  the 
tombs  of  our  ancestors  ?  " 

Ali  Pacha  invited  the  Lord  High  Commissioner 
of  Great  Britain,  Sir  Thomas  Maitland,  to  a  con- 
ference at  Prevesa,  and  complained  of  the  exorbi- 
tant price  of  £500,000,  at  which  the  commissioners 
had  estimated  Parga  and  its  territory,  including 
private  property  and  church  furniture.  It  had  been 
hoped  that  Ali's  avarice  would  hesitate  at  this  high 
price,  but  he  was  not  so  easily  discouraged.  He 
gave  a  banquet  for  the  Lord  High  Commissioner, 
which  degenerated  into  a  shameless  orgy.  In  the 
midst  of  this  drunken  hilarity  the  Turk  and  the 
Englishman   disposed   of  the  territory   of   Parga, 



agreeing  that  a  fresh  estimate  should  be  made  on  the 
spot  by  experts  chosen  by  both  English  and  Turks. 
The  result  of  this  valuation  was  that  the  indemnity 
granted  to  the  Christians  was  reduced  by  the  En- 
glish to  the  sum  of  £276,075  sterling,  instead  of  the 
original  £500,000.  And  as  Ali's  agents  only  arrived 
at  the  sum  of  £56,750,  a  final  conference  was  held  at 
Buthrotum  between  Ali  and  the  Lord  High  Com- 
missioner. The  latter  then  informed  the  Pargani- 
otes  that  the  indemnity  allowed  them  was  irre- 
vocably fixed  at  £150,000!  The  transaction  is  a 
disgrace  to  the  egotistical  and  venal  nation  which 
thus  allowed  the  life  and  liberty  of  a  people  to  be 
trifled  with,  a  lasting  blot  on  the  honour  of  Eng- 

The  Parganiotes  at  first  could  believe  neither  in 
the  infamy  of  their  protectors  nor  in  their  own 
misfortune;  but  both  were  soon  confirmed  by  a 
proclamation  of  the  Lord  High  Commissioner,  in- 
forming them  that  the  pacha's  army  was  marching 
to  take  possession  of  the  territory  which,  by  May 
10th,  must  be  abandoned  for  ever. 

The  fields  were  then  in  full  bearing.  In  the 
midst  of  plains  ripening  for  a  rich  harvest  were 
81,000  square  feet  of  olive  trees,  alone  estimated 
at  two  hundred  thousand  guineas.  The  sun  shone 
in  cloudless  azure,  the  air  was  balmy  with  the  scent 
of  orange  trees,  of  pomegranates  and  citrons.    But 



the  lovely  country  might  have  been  inhabited  by 
phantoms;  only  hands  raised  to  heaven  and  brows 
bent  to  the  dust  met  one's  eye.  Even  the  very  dust 
belonged  no  more  to  the  wretched  inhabitants ;  they 
were  forbidden  to  take  a  fruit  or  a  flower,  the  priests 
might  not  remove  either  relics  or  sacred  images. 
Church  ornaments,  torches,  tapers,  pyxes,  had  by 
this  treaty  ail  become  Mahommedan  property.  The 
English  had  sold  everything,  even  to  the  Host! 
Two  days  more,  and  all  must  be  left.  Each  was 
silently  marking  the  door  of  the  dwelling  destined 
so  soon  to  shelter  an  enemy,  with  a  red  cross,  when 
suddenly  a  terrible  cry  echoed  from  street  to  street, 
for  the  Turks  had  been  perceived  on  the  heights- 
overlooking  the  town.  Terrified  and  despairing, 
the  whole  population  hastened  to  fall  prostrate  be- 
fore the  Virgin  of  Parga,  the  ancient  guardian  of 
their  citadel.  A  mysterious  voice,  proceeding  from 
the  sanctuary,  reminded  them  that  the  English  had, 
in  their  iniquitous  treaty,  forgotten  to  include  the 
ashes  of  those  whom  a  happier  fate  had  spared  the 
sight  of  the  ruin  of  Parga.  Instantly  they  rushed 
to  the  graveyards,  tore  open  the  tombs,  and  col- 
lected the  bones  and  putrefying  corpses.  The  beau- 
tiful olive  trees  were  felled,  an  enormous  funeral 
pyre  arose,  and  in  the  general  excitement  the  orders 
of  the  English  chief  were  defied.  With  naked  dag- 
gers in  their  hands,  standing  in  the  crimson  light  of 



the  flames  which  were  consuming  the  bones  of  their 
ancestors,  the  people  of  Parga  vowed  to  slay  their 
wives  and  children,  and  to  kill  themselves  to  the  last 
man,  if  the  infidels  dared  to  set  foot  in  the  town 
before  the  appointed  hour.  Xenocles,  the  last  of  the 
Greek  poets,  inspired  by  this  sublime  manifestation 
of  despair,  even  as  Jeremiah  by  the  fall  of  Jeru- 
salem, improvised  a  hymn  which  expresses  all  the 
grief  of  the  exiles,  and  which  the  exiles  interrupted 
by  their  tears  and  sobs. 

A  messenger,  crossing  the  sea  in  all  haste,  in- 
formed the  Lord  High  Commissioner  of  the  terrible 
threat  of  the  Parganiotes.  He  started  at  once, 
accompanied  by  General  Sir  Frederic  Adams,  and 
landed  at  Parga  by  the  light  of  the  funeral  pyre. 
He  was  received  with  ill-concealed  indignation,  and 
with  assurances  that  the  sacrifice  would  be  at  once 
consummated  unless  Ali's  troops  were  held  back. 
The  general  endeavoured  to  console  and  to  reassure 
the  unhappy  people,  and  then  proceeded  to  the  out- 
posts, traversing  silent  streets  in  which  armed  men 
stood  at  each  door  only  waiting  a  signal  before 
slaying  their  families,  and  then  turning  their  weap- 
ons against  the  English  and  themselves.  He 
implored  them  to  have  patience,  and  they  answered 
by  pointing  to  the  approaching  Turkish  army  and 
bidding  him  hasten.  He  arrived  at  last  and  com- 
menced negotiations,  and  the  Turkish  officers,  no 



less  uneasy  than  the  English  garrison,  promised 
to  wait  till  the  appointed  hour.  The  next  day  passed 
in  mournful  silence,  quiet  as  death.  At  sunset  on 
the  following  day,  May  9,  18 19,  the  English  stand- 
ard on  the  castle  of  Parga  was  hauled  down,  and 
after  a  night  spent  in  prayer  and  weeping,  the 
Christians  demanded  the  signal  of  departure. 

They  had  left  their  dwellings  at  break  of  day,  and 
scattering  on  the  shore,  endeavoured  to  collect  some 
relics  of  their  country.  Some  filled  little  bags  with 
ashes  withdrawn  from  the  funeral  pile ;  others  took 
handfuls  of  earth,  while  the  women  and  children 
picked  up  pebbles  which  they  hid  in  their  clothing 
and  pressed  to  their  bosoms,  as  if  fearing  to  be 
deprived  of  them.  Meanwhile,  the  ships  intended 
to  transport  them  arrived,  and  armed  English  sol- 
diers superintended  the  embarkation,  which  the 
Turks  hailed  from  afar  with  ferocious  cries.  The 
Parganiotes  were  landed  in  Corfu,  where  they  suf- 
fered yet  more  injustice.  Under  various  pretexts 
the  money  promised  them  was  reduced  and  with- 
held, until  destitution  compelled  them  to  accept 
the  little  that  was  offered.  Thus  closed  one  of  the 
most  odious  transactions  which  modern  history  has 
been  compelled  to  record. 

The  satrap  of  Janina  had  arrived  at  the  fulfilment 
of  his  wishes.  In  the  retirement  of  his  fairy-like 
palace  by  the  lake  he  could  enjoy  voluptuous  pleas- 



ures  to  the  full.  But  already  seventy-eight  years 
had  passed  over  his  head,  and  old  age  had  laid  the 
burden  of  infirmity  upon  him.  His  dreams  were 
dreams  of  blood,  and  vainly  he  sought  refuge  in 
chambers  glittering  with  gold,  adorned  with  ara- 
besques, decorated  with  costly  armour  and  covered 
with  the  richest  of  Oriental  carpets,  remorse  stood 
ever  beside  him.  Through  the  magnificence  which 
surrounded  him  there  constantly  passed  the  pale 
spectre  of  Emineh,  leading  onwards  a  vast  proces- 
sion of  mournful  phantoms,  and  the  guilty  pacha 
buried  his  face  in  his  hands  and  shrieked  aloud  for 
help.  Sometimes,  ashamed  of  his  weakness,  he 
endeavoured  to  defy  both  the  reproaches  of  his  con- 
science and  the  opinion  of  the  multitude,  and  sought 
to  encounter  criticism  with  bravado.  If,  by  chance, 
he  overheard  some  blind  singer  chanting  in  the 
streets  the  satirical  verses  which,  faithful  to  the 
poetical  and  mocking  genius  of  their  ancestors,  the 
Greeks  frequently  composed  about  him,  he  would 
order  the  singer  to  be  brought,  would  bid  him  repeat 
his  verses,  and,  applauding  him,  would  relate  some 
fresh  anecdote  of  cruelty,  saying,  "  Go,  add  that  to 
thy  tale;  let  thy  hearers  know  what  I  can  do;  let 
them  understand  that  I  stop  at  nothing  in  order  to 
overcome  my  foes!  If  I  reproach  myself  with  any- 
thing, it  is  only  with  the  deeds  I  have  sometimes 
failed  to  carry  out." 



Sometimes  it  was  the  terrors  of  the  life  after 
death  which  assailed  him.  The  thought  of  eternity 
brought  terrible  visions  in  its  train,  and  Ali  shud- 
dered at  the  prospect  of  Al-Sirat,  that  awful  bridge, 
narrow  as  a  spider's  thread  and  hanging  over  the 
furnaces  of  Hell,  which  a  Mussulman  must  cross 
in  order  to  arrive  at  the  gate  of  Paradise.  He 
ceased  to  joke  about  Eblis,  the  Prince  of  Evil,  and 
sank  by  degrees  into  profound  superstition.  He 
was  surrounded  by  magicians  and  soothsayers;  he 
consulted  omens,  and  demanded  talismans  and 
charms  from  the  dervishes,  which  he  had  either 
sewn  into  his  garments,  or  suspended  in  the  most 
secret  parts  of  his  palace,  in  order  to  avert  evil  influ- 
ences. A  Koran  was  hung  about  his  neck  as  a 
defence  against  the  evil  eye,  and  frequently  he 
removed  it  and  knelt  before  it,  as  did  Louis  xi 
before  the  leaden  figures  of  saints  which  adorned 
his  hat.  He  ordered  a  complete  chemical  laboratory 
from  Venice,  and  engaged  alchemists  to  distil  the 
water  of  immortality,  by  the  help  of  which  he  hoped 
to  ascend  to  the  planets  and  discover  the  Philoso- 
pher's Stone.  Not  perceiving  any  practical  result 
of  their  labours,  he  ordered  the  laboratory  to  be 
burnt  and  the  alchemists  to  be  hung. 

Ali  hated  his  fellow-men.  Pie  would  have  liked 
to  leave  no  survivors,  and  often  regretted  his  inabil- 
ity to  destroy  all  those  who  would  have  cause  to 



rejoice  at  his  death.  Consequently  he  sought  to 
accomplish  as  much  harm  as  he  could  during  the 
time  which  remained  to  him,  and  for  no  possible 
reason  but  that  of  hatred,  he  caused  the  arrest  of 
both  Ibrahim  Pacha,  who  had  already  suffered  so 
much  at  his  hands,  and  his  son,  and  confined  them 
both  in  a  dungeon  purposely  constructed  under  the 
grand  staircase  of  the  castle  by  the  lake,  in  order 
that  he  might  have  the  pleasure  of  passing  over 
their  heads  each  time  he  left  his  apartments  or 
returned  to  them. 

It  was  not  enough  for  AH  merely  to  put  to  death 
those  who  displeased  him,  the  form  of  punishment 
must  be  constantly  varied  in  order  to  produce  a 
fresh  mode  of  suffering,  therefore  new  tortures  had 
to  be  constantly  invented.  Now  it  was  a  servant, 
guilty  of  absence  without  leave,  who  was  bound 
to  a  stake  in  the  presence  of  his  sister,  and  destroyed 
by  a  cannon  placed  six  paces  off,  but  only  loaded 
with  powder,  in  order  to  prolong  the  agony;  now,  a 
Christian  accused  of  having  tried  to  blow  up  Jan- 
ina  by  introducing  mice  with  tinder  fastened  to 
their  tails  into  the  powder  magazine,  who  was  shut 
up  in  the  cage  of  Ali's  favourite  tiger  and  devoured 
by  it. 

The  pacha  despised  the  human  race  as  much  as 
he  hated  it.  A  European  having  reproached  him 
with  the  cruelty  shown  to  his  subjects,  Ali  replied — 



"  You  do  not  understand  the  race  with  which  I 
have  to  deal.  Were  I  to  hang-  a  criminal  on  yonder 
tree,  the  sight  would  not  deter  even  his  own  brother 
from  stealing  in  the  crowd  at  its  foot.  If  I  had  an 
old  man  burnt  alive,  his  son  would  steal  the  ashes 
and  sell  them.  The  rabble  can  be  governed  by  fear 
only,  and  I  am  the  one  man  who  does  it  success- 

His  conduct  perfectly  corresponded  to  his  ideas. 
One  great  feast-day,  two  gipsies  devoted  their  lives 
in  order  to  avert  the  evil  destiny  of  the  pacha;  and, 
solemnly  convoking  on  their  own  heads  all  misfor- 
tunes which  might  possibly  befall  him,  cast  them- 
selves down  from  the  palace  roof.  One  arose  with 
difficulty,  stunned  and  suffering,  the  other  remained 
on  the  ground  with  a  broken  leg.  Ali  gave  them 
each  forty  francs  and  an  annuity  of  two  pounds  of 
maize  daily,  and  considering  this  sufficient,  took  no 
further  trouble  about  them. 

Every  year,  at  Ramadan,  a  large  sum  was  dis- 
tributed in  alms  among  poor  women  without  dis- 
tinction of  sect.  But  Ali  contrived  to  change  this 
act  of  benevolence  into  a  barbarous  form  of  amuse- 

As  he  possessed  several  palaces  in  Janina  at  a 
considerable  distance  from  each  other,  the  one  at 
which  a  distribution  was  to  take  place  was  each  day 
publicly  announced,  and  when  the  women  had  waited 



there  for  an  hour  or  two,  exposed  to  sun,  rain  or 
cold,  as  the  case  might  be,  they  were  suddenly 
informed  that  they  must  go  to  some  other  palace, 
at  the  opposite  end  of  the  town.  When  they  got 
there,  they  usually  had  to  wait  for  another  hour, 
fortunate  if  they  were  not  sent  off  to  a  third  place 
of  meeting.  When  the  time  at  length  arrived,  an 
eunuch  appeared,  followed  by  Albanian  soldiers 
armed  with  staves,  carrying  a  bag  of  money,  which 
he  threw  by  handfuls  right  into  the  midst  of  the 
assembly.  Then  began  a  terrible  uproar.  The 
women  rushed  to  catch  it,  upsetting  each  other, 
quarrelling,  fighting,  and  uttering  cries  of  terror 
and  pain,  while  the  Albanians,  pretending  to  enforce 
order,  pushed  into  the  crowd,  striking  right  and  left 
with  their  batons.  The  pacha  meanwhile  sat  at  a 
window  enjoying  the  spectacle,  and  impartially  ap- 
plauding all  well  delivered  blows,  no  matter  whence 
they  came.  During  these  distributions,  which  really 
benefited  no  one,  many  women  were  always  severely 
hurt,  and  some  died  from  the  blows  they  had 

Ali  maintained  several  carriages  for  himself  and 
his  family,  but  allowed  no  one  else  to  share  in  this 
prerogative.  To  avoid  being  jolted,  he  simply  took 
up  the  pavement  in  Janina  and  the  neighbouring 
towns,  with  the  result  that  in  summer  one  was 
choked  by  dust,   and   in   winter  could   hardly  get 



through  the  mud.  He  rejoiced  in  the  public  incon- 
venience, and  one  day  having  to  go  out  in  heavy- 
rain,  he  remarked  to  one  of  the  officers  of  his  escort, 
"  How  delightful  to  be  driven  through  this  in  a 
carriage,  while  you  will  have  the  pleasure  of  follow- 
ing on  horseback!  You  will  be  wet  and  dirty, 
whilst  I  smoke  my  pipe  and  laugh  at  your  con- 

He  could  not  understand  why  Western  sovereigns 
should  permit  their  subjects  to  enjoy  the  same  con- 
veniences and  amusements  as  themselves.  "  If  I 
had  a  theatre,"  he  said,  "  I  would  allow  no  one  to 
be  present  at  performances  except  my  own  children ; 
but  these  idiotic  Christians  do  not  know  how  to 
uphold  their  own  dignity." 

There  was  no  end  to  the  mystifications  which  it 
amused  the  pacha  to  carry  out  with  those  who  ap- 
proached him. 

One  day  he  chose  to  speak  Turkish  to  a  Maltese 
merchant  who  came  to  display  some  jewels.  He 
was  informed  that  the  merchant  understood  only 
Greek  and  Italian.  He  none  the  less  continued  his 
discourse  without  ahowing  anyone  to  translate  what 
he  said  into  Greek.  The  Maltese  at  length  lost 
patience,  shut  up  his  cases,  and  departed.  Ali 
watched  him  with  the  utmost  calm,  and  as  he  went 
out  told  him,  still  in  Turkish,  to  come  again  the 
next  day. 



An  unexpected  occurence  seemed,  like  the  warn- 
ing ringer  of  Destiny,  to  indicate  an  evil  omen  for 
the  pacha's  future.  "  Misfortunes  arrive  in  troops," 
says  the  forcible  Turkish  proverb,  and  a  forerunner 
of  disasters  came  to  Ali  Pacha. 

One  morning  he  was  suddenly  roused  by  the 
Sheik  Yussuf,  who  had  forced  his  way  in,  in  spite 
of  the  guards.  "  Behold!  "  said  he,  handing  Ali  a 
letter,  "  Allah,  who  punishes  the  guilty,  has  per- 
mitted thy  seraglio  of  Tepelen  to  be  burnt.  Thy 
splendid  palace,  thy  beautiful  furniture,  costly  stuffs, 
cashmeers,  furs,  arms,  all  are  destroyed!  And  it  is 
thy  youngest  and  best  beloved  son,  Salik  Bey  him- 
self, whose  hand  kindled  the  flames!"  So  saying, 
Yussuf  turned  and  departed,  crying  with  a  trium- 
phant voice,  "  Fire !  fire !  fire !  " 

Ali  instantly  ordered  his  horse,  and,  followed  by 
his  guards,  rode  without  drawing  rein  to  Tepelen. 
As  soon  as  he  arrived  at  the  place  where  his  palace 
had  formerly  insulted  the  public  misery,  he  hastened 
to  examine  the  cellars  where  his  treasures  were 
deposited.  All  was  intact,  silver  plate,  jewels,  and 
fifty  millions  of  francs  in  gold,  enclosed  in  a  well 
over  which  he  had  caused  a  tower  to  be  built.  After 
this  examination  he  ordered  all  the  ashes  to  be  care- 
fully sifted  in  hopes  of  recovering  the  gold  in  the 
tassels  and  fringes  of  the  sofas,  and  the  silver  from 
the  plate  and  the  armour.     He  next  proclaimed 



through  the  length  and  breadth  of  the  land,  that, 
being  by  the  hand  of  Allah  deprived  of  his  house, 
and  no  longer  possessing  anything  in  his  native 
town,  he  requested  all  who  loved  him  to  prove  their 
affection  by  bringing  help  in  proportion.  He  fixed 
the  day  of  reception  for  each  commune,  and  for 
almost  each  individual  of  any  rank,  however  small, 
according  to  their  distance  from  Tepelen,  whither 
these  evidences  of  loyalty  were  to  be  brought. 

During  five  days  Ali  received  these  forced  benev- 
olences from  all  parts.  He  sat,  covered  with  rags, 
on  a  shabby  palm-leaf  mat  placed  at  the  outer  gate 
of  his  ruined  palace,  holding  in  his  left  hand  a  vil- 
lainous pipe  of  the  kind  used  by  the  lowest  people, 
and  in  his  right  an  old  red  cap,  which  he  extended 
for  the  donations  of  the  passers-by.  Behind  stood 
a  Jew  from  Janina,  charged  with  the  office  of  test- 
ing each  piece  of  gold  and  valuing  jewels  which 
were  offered  instead  of  money;  for,  in  terror,  each 
endeavoured  to  appear  generous.  No  means  of 
obtaining  a  rich  harvest  were  neglected;  for  in- 
stance, Ali  distributed  secretly  large  sums  among 
poor  and  obscure  people,  such  as  servants,  mechan- 
ics, and  soldiers,  in  order  that  by  returning  them  in 
public  they  might  appear  to  be  making  great  sacri- 
fices, so  that  richer  and  more  distinguished  persons 
could  not,  without  appearing  ill-disposed  towards 
the  pacha,  offer  only  the  same  amount  as  did  the 



poor,  but  were  obliged  to  present  gifts  of  enormous 

After  this  charity  extorted  from  their  fears,  the 
pacha's  subjects  hoped  to  be  at  peace.  But  a  new 
decree  proclaimed  throughout  Albania  required 
them  to  rebuild  and  refurnish  the  formidable  palace 
of  Tepelen  entirely  at  the  public  expense.  Ali  then 
returned  to  Janina,  followed  by  his  treasure  and  a 
few  women  who  had  escaped  from  the  flames,  and 
whom  he  disposed  of  amongst  his  friends,  saying 
that  he  was  no  longer  sufficiently  wealthy  to  main- 
tain so  many  slaves. 

Fate  soon  provided  him  with  a  second  opportun- 
ity for  amassing  wealth.  Arta,  a  wealthy  town 
with  a  Christian  population,  was  ravaged  by  the 
plague,  and  out  of  eight  thousand  inhabitants,  seven 
thousand  were  swept  away.  Hearing  this,  Ali  has- 
tened to  send  commissioners  to  prepare  an  account 
of  furniture  and  lands  which  the  pacha  claimed  as 
being  heir  to  his  subjects.  A  few  livid  and  emaci- 
ated spectres  were  yet  to  be  found  in  the  streets  of 
Arta.  In  order  that  the  inventory  might  be  more 
complete,  these  unhappy  beings  were  compelled  to 
wash  in  the  Inachus  blankets,  sheets,  and  clothes 
steeped  in  bubonic  infection,  while  the  collectors 
were  hunting  everywhere  for  imaginary  hidden 
treasure.  Hollow  trees  were  sounded,  walls  pulled 
down,  the  most  unlikely  corners  examined,  and  a 



skeleton  which  was  discovered  still  girt  with  a  belt 
containing  Venetian  sequins  was  gathered  up  with 
the  utmost  care.  The  archons  of  the  town  were 
arrested  and  tortured  in  the  hope  of  discovering 
buried  treasure,  the  clue  to  which  had  disappeared 
along  with  the  owners.  One  of  these  magistrates, 
accused  of  having  hidden  some  valuable  objects, 
was  plunged  up  to  his  shoulders  in  a  boiler  full  of 
melted  lead  and  boiling  oil.  Old  men,  women,  chil- 
dren, rich  and  poor  alike,  were  interrogated,  beaten, 
and  compelled  to  abandon  the  last  remains  of  their 
property  in  order  to  save  their  lives. 

Having  thus  decimated  the  few  inhabitants  re- 
maining to  the  town,  it  became  necessary  to  re- 
people  it.  With  this  object  in  view,  Ali's  emissaries 
overran  the  villages  of  Thessaly,  driving  before 
them  all  the  people  they  met  in  flocks,  and  compel- 
ling them  to  settle  in  Arta.  These  unfortunate 
colonists  were  also  obliged  to  find  money  to  pay 
the  pacha  for  the  houses  they  were  forced  to  occupy. 

This  business  being  settled,  Ali  turned  to  another 
which  had  long  been  on  his  mind.  We  have  seen 
how  Ismail  Pacho  Bey  escaped  the  assassins  sent 
to  murder  him.  A  ship,  despatched  secretly  from 
Prevesa,  arrived  at  the  place  of  his  retreat.  The 
captain,  posing  as  a  merchant,  invited  Ismail  to 
come  on  board  and  inspect  his  goods.  But  the  lat- 
ter, guessing  a  trap,  fled  promptly,  and  for  some 



time  all  trace  of  him  was  lost.  Ali,  in  revenge, 
turned  his  wife  out  of  the  palace  at  Janina  which 
she  still  occupied,  and  placed  her  in  a  cottage,  where 
she  was  obliged  to  earn  a  living  by  spinning.  But 
he  did  not  stop  there,  and  learning  after  some  time 
that  Pacho  Bey  had  sought  refuge  with  the  Nazir 
of  Drama,  who  had  taken  him  into  favour,  he 
resolved  to  strike  a  last  blow,  more  sure  and  more 
terrible  than  the  others.  Again  Ismail's  lucky  star 
saved  him  from  the  plots  of  his  enemy.  During  a 
hunting  party  he  encountered  a  kapidgi-bachi,  or 
messenger  from  the  sultan,  who  asked  him  where 
he  could  find  the  Nazir,  to  whom  he  was  charged 
with  an  important  communication.  As  kapidgi- 
bachis  are  frequently  bearers  of  evil  tidings,  which 
it  is  well  to  ascertain  at  once,  and  as  the  Nazir  was 
at  some  distance,  Pacho  Bey  assumed  the  latter's 
part,  and  the  sultan's  confidential  messenger  in- 
formed him  that  he  was  the  bearer  of  a  firman 
grantd  at  the  request  of  Ali  Pacha  of  Janina. 

"Ali  of  Tepelen?  He  is  my  friend.  How  can 
I  serve  him?  " 

"  By  executing  the  present  order,  sent  you  by  the 
Divan,  desiring  you  to  behead  a  traitor,  named 
Pacho  Bey,  who  crept  into  your  service  a  short  time 

"  Willingly !  but  he  is  not  an  easy  man  to  seize, 
being  brave,  vigorous,  clever,  and  cunning.     Craft 



will  be  necessary  in  this  case.  He  may  appear  at 
any  moment,  and  it  is  advisable  that  he  should  not 
see  you.  Let  no  one  suspect  who  you  are,  but  go  to 
Drama,  which  is  only  two  hours  distant,  and  await 
me  there.  I  shall  return  this  evening,  and  you  can 
consider  your  errand  as  accomplished." 

The  kapidgi-bachi  made  a  sign  of  comprehension, 
and  directed  his  course  towards  Drama;  while 
Ismail,  fearing  that  the  Nazir,  who  had  only  known 
him  a  short  time,  would  sacrifice  him  with  the  usual 
Turkish  indifference,  fled  in  the  opposite  direction. 
At  the  end  of  an  hour  he  encountered  a  Bulgarian 
monk,  with  whom  he  exchanged  clothes — a  dis- 
guise which  enabled  him  to  traverse  Upper  Mace- 
donia in  safety.  Arriving  at  the  great  Servian  con- 
vent in  the  mountains  whence  the  Axius  takes  its 
rise,  he  obtained  admission  under  an  assumed  name. 
But  feeling  sure  of  the  discretion  of  the  monks, 
after  a  few  days  he  explained  his  situation  to  them. 

AH,  learning  the  ill-success  of  his  latest  strata- 
gem, accused  the  Nazir  of  conniving  at  Pacho  Bey's 
escape.  But  the  latter  easily  justified  himself  with 
the  Divan  by  giving  precise  information  of  what 
had  really  occurred.  This  was  what  AH  wanted, 
who  profited  thereby  in  having  the  fugitive's  track 
followed  up,  and  soon  got  wind  of  his  retreat.  As 
Pacho  Bey's  innocence  had  been  proved  in  the  ex- 
planations given  to  the  Porte,  the  death  firman 



obtained  against  him  became  useless,  and  AH 
affected  to  abandon  him  to  his  fate,  in  order  the 
better  to  conceal  the  new  plot  he  was  conceiving 
against  him. 

Athanasius  Vaya,  chief  assassin  of  the  Kardiki- 
otes,  to  whom  Ali  imparted  his  present  plan  for  the 
destruction  of  Ismail,  begged  for  the  honour  of  put- 
ting it  into  execution,  swearing  that  this  time  Ismail 
should  not  escape.  The  master  and  the  instrument 
disguised  their  scheme  under  the  appearance  of  a 
quarrel,  which  astonished  the  whole  town.  At  the 
end  of  a  terrible  scene  which  took  place  in  public, 
Ali  drove  the  confidant  of  his  crimes  from  the  pal- 
ace, overwhelming  him  with  insults,  and  declaring 
that  were  Athanasius  not  the  son  of  his  children's 
foster-mother,  he  would  have  sent  him  to  the  gibbet. 
He  enforced  his  words  by  the  application  of  a  stick, 
and  Vaya,  apparently  overwhelmed  by  terror  and 
affliction,  went  round  to  all  the  nobles  of  the  town, 
vainly  entreating  them  to  intercede  for  him.  The 
only  favour  which  Mouktar  Pacha  could  obtain  for 
him  was  a  sentence  of  exile  allowing  him  to  retreat 
to  Macedonia. 

Athanasius  departed  from  Janina  with  all  the 
demonstrations  of  utter  despair,  and  continued  his 
route  with  the  haste  of  one  who  fears  pursuit. 
Arrived  in  Macedonia,  he  assumed  the  habit  of  a 
monk,  and  undertook  a  pilgrimage  to  Mount  Athos, 



saying  that  both  the  disguise  and  the  journey  were 
necessary  to  his  safety.  On  the  way  he  encountered 
one  of  the  itinerant  friars  of  the  great  Servian 
convent,  to  whom  he  described  his  disgrace  in  ener- 
getic terms,  begging  him  to  obtain  his  admission 
among  the  lay  brethren  of  his  monastery. 

Delighted  at  the  prospect  of  bringing  back  to  the 
fold  of  the  Church  a  man  so  notorious  for  his 
crimes,  the  friar  hastened  to  inform  his  superior, 
who  in  his  turn  lost  no  time  in  announcing  to  Pacho 
Bey  that  his  compatriot  and  companion  in  mis- 
fortune was  to  be  received  among  the  lay  brethren, 
and  in  relating  the  history  of  Athanasius  as  he  him- 
self had  heard  it.  Pacho  Bey,  however,  was  not 
easily  deceived,  and  at  once  guessing  that  Vaya's 
real  object  was  his  own  assassination,  told  his  doubts 
to  the  superior,  who  had  already  received  him  as  a 
friend.  The  latter  retarded  the  reception  of  Vaya 
so  as  to  give  Pacho  time  to  escape  and  take  the  road 
to  Constantinople.  Once  arrived  there,  he  deter- 
mined to  brave  the  storm  and  encounter  Ali  openly. 

Endowed  by  nature  with  a  noble  presence  and 
with  masculine  firmness,  Pacho  Bey  possessed  also 
the  valuable  gift  of  speaking  all  the  various  tongues 
of  the  Ottoman  Empire.  He  could  not  fail  to  dis- 
tinguish himself  in  the  capital  and  to  find  an  opening 
for  his  great  talents.  But  his  inclination  drove  him 
£t  first  to  seek  his  fellow-exiles  from  Epirus,  who 



were  either  his  old  companions  in  arms,  friends,  or 
relations,  for  he  was  allied  to  all  the  principal  fam- 
iles,  and  was  even,  through  his  wife,  nearly  con- 
nected with  his  enemy,  Ali  Pacha  himself. 

He  had  learnt  what  this  unfortunte  lady  had 
already  endured  on  his  account,  and  feared  that  she 
would  suffer  yet  more  if  he  took  active  measures 
against  the  pacha.  While  he  yet  hesitated  between 
affection  and  revenge,  he  heard  that  she  had  died  of 
grief  and  misery.  Now  that  despair  had  put  an  end 
to  uncertainty,  he  set  his  hand  to  the  work. 

At  this  precise  moment  Heaven  sent  him  a  friend 
to  console  and  aid  him  in  his  vengeance,  a  Christian 
from  QEtolia,  Paleopoulo  by  name.  This  man  was 
on  the  point  of  establishing  himself  in  Russian 
Bessarabia,  when  he  met  Pacho  Bey  and  joined 
with  him  in  the  singular  coalition  which  was  to 
change  the  fate  of  the  Tepelenian  dynasty. 

Paleopoulo  reminded  his  companion  in  misfor- 
tune of  a  memorial  presented  to  the  Divan  in  1812, 
which  had  brought  upon  Ali  a  disgrace  from  which 
he  only  escaped  in  consequence  of  the  overwhelm- 
ing political  events  which  just  then  absorbed  the 
attention  of  the  Ottoman  Government.  The  Grand 
Seigneur  had  sworn  by  the  tombs  of  his  ancestors 
to  attend  to  the  matter  as  soon  as  he  was  able,  and 
it  was  only  requisite  to  remind  him  of  his  vow. 
Pacho  Bey  and  his  friend  drew  up  a  new  memorial, 



and  knowing  the  sultan's  avarice,  took  care  to  dwell 
on  the  immense  wealth  possessed  by  Ali,  on  his 
scandalous  exactions,  and  on  the  enormous  sums 
diverted  from  the  Imperial  Treasury.  By  over- 
hauling the  accounts  of  his  administration,  millions 
might  be  recovered.  To  these  financial  consider- 
ations Pacho  Bey  added  some  practical  ones.  Speak- 
ing as  a  man  sure  of  his  facts  and  well  acquainted 
with  the  ground,  he  pledged  his  head  that  with 
twenty  thousand  men  he  would,  in  spite  of  Ali's 
troops  and  strongholds,  arrive  before  Janina  with- 
out firing  a  musket. 

However  good  these  plans  appeared,  they  were 
by  no  means  to  the  taste  of  the  sultan's  ministers, 
who  were  each  and  all  in  receipt  of  large  pensions 
from  the  man  at  whom  they  struck.  Besides,  as  in 
Turkey  it  is  customary  for  the  great  fortunes  of 
Government  officials  to  be  absorbed  on  their  death 
by  the  Imperial  Treasury,  it  of  course  appeared 
easier  to  await  the  natural  inheritance  of  Ali's 
treasures  than  to  attempt  to  seize  them  by  a  war 
which  would  certainly  absorb  part  of  them.  There- 
fore, while  Pacho  Bey's  zeal  was  commended,  he 
obtained  only  dilatory  answers,  followed  at  length 
by  a  formal  refusal. 

Meanwhile,  the  old  (Etolian,  Paleopoulo,  died, 
having  prophesied  the  approaching  Greek  insur- 
rection among  his  friends,  and  pledged  Pacho  Bey 



to  persevere  in  his  plans  of  vengeance,  assuring 
him  that  before  long  Ali  would  certainly  fall  a  vic- 
tim to  them.  Thus  left  alone,  Pacho,  before  taking 
any  active  steps  in  his  work  of  vengeance,  affected 
to  give  himself  up  to  the  strictest  observances  of  the 
Mohammedan  religion.  Ali,  who  had  established 
a  most  minute  surveillance  over  his  actions,  finding 
that  his  time  was  spent  with  ulemas  and  dervishes, 
imagined  that  he  had  ceased  to  be  dangerous,  and 
took  no  further  trouble  about  him. 



A  CAREER  of  successful  crime  had  established 
Ali's  rule  over  a  population  equal  to  that 
of  the  two  kingdoms  of  Sweden  and  Norway.  But 
his  ambition  was  not  yet  satisfied.  The  occupation 
of  Parga  did  not  crown  his  desires,  and  the  delight 
which  it  caused  him  was  much  tempered  by  the 
escape  of  the  Parganiotes,  who  found  in  exile  a  safe 
refuge  from  his  persecution.  Scarcely  had  he 
finished  the  conquest  of  Middle  Albania  before  he 
was  exciting  a  faction  against  the  young  Moustai 
Pacha  in  Scodra,  a  new  object  of  greed.  He  also 
kept  an  army  of  spies  in  Wallachia,  Moldavia, 
Thrace,  and  Macedonia,  and,  thanks  to  them,  he 
appeared  to  be  everywhere  present,  and  was  mixed 
up  in  every  intrigue,  private  or  political,  throughout 
the  empire.  He  had  paid  the  English  agents  the 
price  agreed  on  for  Parga,  but  he  repaid  himself 
five  times  over,  by  gifts  extorted  from  his  vassals, 
and  by  the  value  of  the  Parga  lands,  now  become 
his  property.  His  palace  of  Tepelen  had  been 
rebuilt  at  the  public  expense,  and  was  larger  and 



more  magnificent  than  before;  Janina  was  embel- 
lished with  new  buildings ;  elegant  pavilions  rose  on 
the  shores  of  the  lake;  in  short,  Ali's  luxury  was 
on  a  level  with  his  vast  riches.  His  sons  and  grand- 
sons were  provided  for  by  important  positions,  and 
Ali  himself  was  a  sovereign  prince  in  everything  but 
the  name. 

There  was  no  lack  of  flattery,  even  from  literary 
persons.  At  Vienna  a  poem  was  printed  in  his 
honour,  and  a  French-Greek  Grammar  was  dedi- 
cated to  him,  and  such  titles  as  "  Most  Illustrious," 
"  Most  Powerful,"  and  "  Most  Clement,"  were 
showered  upon  him,  as  upon  a  man  whose  lofty 
virtues  and  great  exploits  echoed  through  the 
world.  A  native  of  Bergamo,  learned  in  heraldry, 
provided  him  with  a  coat  of  arms,  representing,  on 
a  field  gules,  a  lion,  embracing  three  cubs,  emble- 
matic of  the  Tepelenian  dynasty.  Already  he  had 
a  consul  at  Leucadia  accepted  by  the  English,  who, 
it  is  said,  encouraged  him  to  declare  himself  Hered- 
itary Prince  of  Greece,  under  the  nominal  suzerainty 
of  the  sultan;  their  real  intention  being  to  use  him 
as  a  tool  in  return  for  their  protection,  and  to  employ 
him  as  a  political  counterbalance  to  the  hospodars 
of  Moldavia  and  Wallachia,  who  for  the  last  twenty 
years  had  been  simply  Russian  agents  in  disguise. 
This  was  not  all;  many  of  the  adventurers  with 
whom   the   Levant    swarms,    outlaws    from    every 



country,  had  found  a  refuge  in  Albania,  and  helped 
not  a  little  to  excite  Ali's  ambition  by  their  sugges- 
tions. Some  of  these  men  frequently  saluted  him 
as  King,  a  title  which  he  affected  to  reject  with 
indignation;  and  he  disdained  to  imitate  other 
states  by  raising  a  private  standard  of  his  own, 
preferring  not  to  compromise  his  real  power  by 
puerile  displays  of  dignity;  and  he  lamented  the 
foolish  ambition  of  his  children,  who  would  ruin 
him,  he  said,  by  aiming,  each,  at  becoming  a  vizier. 
Therefore  he  did  not  place  his  hope  or  confidence  in 
them,  but  in  the  adventurers  of  every  sort  and  kind, 
pirates,  coiners,  renegades,  assassins,  whom  he  kept 
in  his  pay  and  regarded  as  his  best  support.  These 
he  sought  to  attach  to  his  person  as  men  who  might 
some  day  be  found  useful,  for  he  did  not  allow  the 
many  favours  of  fortune  to  blind  him  to  the  real 
danger  of  his  position.  "  A  vizier,"  he  was  accus- 
tomed to  say,  "  resembles  a  man  wrapped  in  costly 
furs,  but  he  sits  on  a  barrel  of  powder,  which  only 
requires  a  spark  to  explode  it."  The  Divan  granted 
all  the  concessions  which  AH  demanded,  affecting 
ignorance  of  his  projects  of  revolt  and  his  intelli- 
gence with  the  enemies  of  the  State;  but  this 
apparent  weakness  was  merely  prudent  temporising. 
It  was  considered  that  Ali,  already  advanced  in 
years,  could  not  live  much  longer,  and  it  was  hoped 
that,  at  his  death,  Continental  Greece,  now  in  some 



measure  detached  from  the  Ottoman  rule,  would 
again  fall  under  the  sultan's  sway. 

Meanwhile,  Pacho  Bey,  bent  on  silently  under- 
mining Ali's  influence,  had  established  himself  as  an 
intermediary  for  all  those  who  came  to  demand 
justice  on  account  of  the  pacha's  exactions,  and  he 
contrived  that  both  his  own  complaints  and  those 
of  his  clients  should  penetrate  to  the  ears  of  the 
sultan ;  who,  pitying  his  misfortunes,  made  him  a 
kapidgi-bachi,  as  a  commencement  of  better  things. 
About  this  time  the  sultan  also  admitted  to  the 
Council  a  certain  Abdi  Effendi  of  Larissa,  one  of 
the  richest  nobles  of  Thessaly,  who  had  been  com- 
pelled by  the  tyranny  of  Veli  Pacha  to  fly  from  his 
country.  The  two  new  dignitaries,  having  secured 
Khalid  Effendi  as  a  partisan,  resolved  to  profit  by 
his  influence  to  carry  out  their  plans  of  vengeance 
on  the  Tepelenian  family.  The  news  of  Pacho 
Bey's  promotion  roused  Ali  from  the  security  in 
which  he  was  plunged,  and  he  fell  a  prey  to  the  most 
lively  anxiety.  Comprehending  at  once  the  evil 
which  this  man,  trained  in  his  own  school,  might 
cause  him,  he  exclaimed,  "Ah!  if  Heaven  would 
only  restore  me  the  strength  of  my  youth,  I  would 
plunge  my  sword  into  his  heart  even  in  the  midst  of 
the  Divan." 

It  was  not  long  before  Ali's  enemies  found  an 
extremely   suitable   opportunity    for   opening   their 



attack.  Veli  Pacha,  who  had  for  his  own  profit 
increased  the  Thessalian  taxation  fivefold,  had  in 
doing  so  caused  so  much  oppression  that  many  of 
the  inhabitants  preferred  the  griefs  and  dangers  of 
emigration  rather  than  remain  under  so  tyrannical 
a  rule.  A  great  number  of  Greeks  sought  refuge 
at  Odessa,  and  the  great  Turkish  families  assem- 
bled round  Pacho  Bey  and  Abdi  Effendi  at  Constan- 
tinople, who  lost  no  opportunity  of  interceding  in 
their  favour.  The  sultan,  who  as  yet  did  not  dare 
to  act  openly  against  the  Tepelenian  family,  was  at 
least  able  to  relegate  Veli  to  the  obscure  post  of 
Lepanto,  and  Veli,  much  disgusted,  was  obliged  to 
obey.  He  quitted  the  new  palace  he  had  just  built 
at  Rapehani,  and  betook  himself  to  the  place  of 
exile,  accompanied  by  actors,  Bohemian  dancers, 
bear  leaders,  and  a  crowd  of  prostitutes. 

Thus  attacked  in  the  person  of  his  most  powerful 
son,  AH  thought  to  terrify  his  enemies  by  a  daring 
blow.  He  sent  three  Albanians  to  Constantinople 
to  assassinate  Pacho  Bey.  They  fell  upon  him  as 
he  was  proceeding  to  the  Mosque  of  Saint-Sophia, 
on  the  day  on  which  the  sultan  also  went  in  order  to 
be  present  at  the  Friday  ceremonial  prayer,  and 
fired  several  shots  at  him.  He  was  wounded,  but 
not  mortally. 

The  assassins,  caught  red-handed,  were  hung  at 
the  gate  of  the  Imperial  Seraglio,  but  not  before 



confessing  that  they  were  sent  by  the  Pacha  of 
Janina.  The  Divan,  comprehending  at  last  that  so 
dangerous  a  man  must  be  dealt  with  at  any  cost, 
recapitulated  all  Ali's  crimes,  and  pronounced  a 
sentence  against  him  which  was  confirmed  by  a 
decree  of  the  Grand  Mufti.  It  set  forth  that  AH 
Tepelen,  having  many  times  obtained  pardon  for 
his  crimes,  was  now  guilty  of  high  treason  in  the 
first  degree,  and  that  he  would,  as  recalcitrant,  be 
placed  under  the  ban  of  the  Empire  if  he  did  not 
within  forty  days  appear  at  the  Gilded  Threshold  of 
the  Felicitous  Gate  of  the  Monarch  who  dispenses 
crowns  to  the  princes  who  reign  in  this  world,  in 
order  to  justify  himself.  As  may  be  supposed,  sub- 
mission to  such  an  order  was  about  the  last  thing 
Ali  contemplated.  As  he  failed  to  appear,  the 
Divan  caused  the  Grand  Mufti  to  launch  the  thun- 
der of  excommunication  against  him. 

Ali  had  just  arrived  at  Parga,  which  he  now  saw 
for  the  third  time  since  he  had  obtained  it,  when 
his  secretaries  informed  him  that  only  the  rod  of 
Moses  could  save  him  from  the  anger  of  Pharaoh — 
a  figurative  mode  of  warning  him  that  he  had  noth- 
ing to  hope  for.  But  Ali,  counting  on  his  usual 
luck,  persisted  in  imagining  that  he  could,  once 
again,  escape  from  his  difficulty  by  the  help  of  gold 
and  intrigue.  Without  discontinuing  the  pleasures 
in  which  he  was   immersed,  he  contened  himself 



with  sending  presents  and  humble  petitions  to  Con- 
stantinople. But  both  were  alike  useless,  for  no 
one  even  ventured  to  transmit  them  to  the  sultan> 
who  had  sworn  to  cut  off  the  head  of  anyone  who 
dared  mention  the  name  of  Ali  Tepelen  in  his 

Receiving  no  answer  to  his  overtures,  Ali  became 
a  prey  to  terrible  anxiety.  As  he  one  day  opened 
the  Koran  to  consult  it  as  to  his  future,  his  divining 
rod  stopped  at  verse  82,  chap,  xix.,  which  says,  "  He 
doth  flatter  himself  in  vain.  He  shall  appear  before 
our  tribunal  naked  and  bare."  Ali  closed  the  book 
and  spat  three  times  into  his  bosom.  He  was  yield- 
ing to  the  most  dire  presentiments,  when  a  courier, 
arriving  from  the  capital,  informed  him  that  all 
hope  of  pardon  was  lost. 

He  ordered  his  galley  to  be  immediately  pre- 
pared, and  left  his  seraglio,  casting  a  look  of  sad- 
ness on  the  beautiful  gardens  where  only  yesterday 
he  had  received  the  homage  of  his  prostrate  slaves. 
He  bade  farewell  to  his  wives,  saying  that  he  hoped 
soon  to  return,  and  descended  to  the  shore,  where 
the  rowers  received  him  with  acclamations.  The 
sail  was  set  to  a  favourable  breeze,  and  Ali,  leaving 
the  shore  he  was  never  to  see  again,  sailed  towards 
Prevesa,  where  he  hoped  to  meet  the  Lord  High 
Commissioner  Maitland.  But  the  time  of  prosperity 
had  gone  by,  and  the  regard  which  had  once  been 



shown  him  changed  with  his  fortunes.     The  inter- 
view he  sought  was  not  granted. 

The  sultan  now  ordered  a  fleet  to  be  equipped, 
which,  after  Ramadan,  was  to  disembark  troops  on 
the  coast  of  Epirus,  while  all  the  neighbouring 
pachas  received  orders  to  hold  themselves  in  readi- 
ness to  march  with  all  the  troops  of  their  respective 
Governments  against  Ali,  whose  name  was  struck 
out  of  the  list  of  viziers.  Pacho  Bey  was  named 
Pacha  of  Janina  and  Delvino  on  condition  of  sub- 
duing them,  and  was  placed  in  command  of  the 
whole  expedition. 

However,  notwithstanding  these  orders,  there 
was  not  at  the  beginning  of  April,  two  months  after 
the  attempted  assassination  of  Pacho  Bey,  a  single 
soldier  ready  to  march  on  Albania.  Ramadan,  that 
year,  did  not  close  until  the  new  moon  of  July  10. 
Had  Ali  put  himself  boldly  at  the  head  of  the 
movement  which  was  beginning  to  stir  throughout 
Greece,  he  might  have  baffled  these  vacillating  pro- 
jects, and  possibly  dealt  a  fatal  blow  to  the  Ottoman 
Empire.  As  far  back  as  1808,  the  Hydriotes  had 
offered  to  recognise  his  son  Veli,  then  Vizier  of  the 
Morea,  as  their  Prince,  and  to  support  him  in  every 
way,  if  he  would  proclaim  the  independence  of  the 
Archipelago.  The  Moreans  bore  him  no  enmity 
until  he  refused  to  help  them  to  freedom,  and  would 
have  returned  to  him  had  he  consented. 



On  the  other  side,  the  sultan,  though  anxious  for 
war,  would  not  spend  a  penny  in  order  to  wage  it; 
and  it  was  easy  to  corrupt  some  of  the  great  vassals 
ordered  to  march  at  their  own  expense  against  a 
man  in  whose  downfall  they  had  no  special  interest. 
Nor  were  the  means  of  seduction  wanting  to  Ali, 
whose  wealth  was  enormous;  but  he  preferred  to 
keep  it  in  order  to  carry  on  the  war  which  he 
thought  he  could  no  longer  escape.  He  made,  there- 
fore, a  general  appeal  to  all  Albanian  warriors, 
whatever  their  religion.  Mussulmans  and  Chris- 
tians, alike  attracted  by  the  prospect  of  booty  and 
good  pay,  flocked  to  his  standard  in  crowds. 

He  organised  all  these  adventurers  on  the  plan  of 
the  Armatolis,  by  companies,  placing  a  captain  of 
his  own  choice  at  the  head  of  each,  and  giving  each 
company  a  special  post  to  defend.  Of  all  possible 
plans  this  was  the  best  adapted  to  his  country,  where 
only  a  guerilla  warfare  can  be  carried  on,  and 
where  a  large  army  could  not  subsist. 

In  repairing  to  the  posts  assigned  to  them,  these 
troops  committed  such  terrible  depredations  that 
the  provinces  sent  to  Constantinople  demanding 
their  suppression.  The  Divan  answered  the  peti- 
tioners that  it  was  their  own  business  to  suppress 
these  disorders,  and  to  induce  the  Klephtes  to  turn 
their  arms  against  Ali,  who  had  nothing  to  hope 
from  the  clemency  of  the  Grand  Seigneur.     At  the 

5— Dumas— Vol.  7  2245 


same  time  circular  letters  were  addressed  to  the 
Epi rotes,  warning  them  to  abandon  the  cause  of  a 
rebel,  and  to  consider  the  best  means  of  freeing 
themselves  from  a  traitor,  who,  having  long  op- 
pressed them,  now  sought  to  draw  down  on  their 
country  all  the  terrors  of  war.  Ali,  who  every- 
where maintained  numerous  and  active  spies,  now 
redoubled  his  watchfulness,  and  not  a  single  letter 
entered  Epirus  without  being  opened  and  read  by 
his  agents.  As  an  extra  precaution,  the  guardians 
of  the  passes  were  enjoined  to  slay  without  mercy 
any  despatch-bearer  not  provided  with  an  order 
signed  by  Ali  himself,  and  to  send  to  Janina  under 
escort  any  travellers  wishing  to  enter  Epirus. 
These  measures  were  specially  aimed  against  Suley- 
man  Pacha,  who  had  succeeded  Veli  in  the  govern-' 
ment  of  Thessaly,  and  replaced  Ali  himself  in  the 
office  of  Grand  Provost  of  the  Highways.  Suley- 
man's  secretary  was  a  Greek  called  Anagnorto,  a 
native  of  Macedonia,  whose  estates  Ali  had  seized, 
and  who  had  fled  with  his  family  to  escape  further 
persecution.  He  had  become  attached  to  the  court 
party,  less  for  the  sake  of  vengeance  on  Ali  than  to 
aid  the  cause  of  the  Greeks,  for  whose  freedom  he 
worked  by  underhand  methods.  He  persuaded 
Suleyman  Pacha  that  the  Greeks  would  help  him  to 
dethrone  Ali,  for  whom  they  cherished  the  deepest 
hatred,  and  he  was  determined  that  they  should 



learn  the  sentence  of  deprivation  and  excommuni- 
cation fulminated  against  the  rebel  pacha.  He 
introduced  into  the  Greek  translation  which  he  was 
commissioned  to  make,  ambiguous  phrases  which 
were  read  by  the  Christians  as  a  call  to  take  up 
arms  in  the  cause  of  liberty.  In  an  instant,  all 
Hellas  was  up  in  arms.  The  Mohammedans  were 
alarmed,  but  the  Greeks  gave  out  that  it  was  in 
order  to  protect  themselves  and  their  property 
against  the  bands  of  brigands  which  had  appeared 
on  all  sides.  This  was  the  beginning  of  the  Greek 
insurrection,  and  occurred  in  May  1820,  extending 
from  Mount  Pindus  to  Thermopylae.  However,  the 
Greeks,  satisfied  with  having  vindicated  their  right 
to  bear  arms  in  their  own  defence,  continued  to 
pay  their  taxes,  and  abstained  from  all  hostility. 

At  the  news  of  this  great  movement,  Ali's  friends 
advised  him  to  turn  it  to  his  own  advantage.  "The 
Greeks  in  arms,"  said  they,  "  want  a  chief :  offer 
yourself  as  their  leader.  They  hate  you,  it  is  true, 
but  this  feeling  may  change.  It  is  only  necessary 
to  make  them  believe,  which  is  easily  done,  that  if 
they  will  support  your  cause  you  will  embrace 
Christianity  and  give  them  freedom." 

There  was  no  time  to  lose,  for  matters  became 
daily  more  serious.  Ali  hastened  to  summon  what 
he  called  a  Grand  Divan,  composed  of  the  chiefs  of 
both  sects,  Mussulmans  and  Christians.    There  were 



assembled  men  of  widely  different  types,  much 
astonished  at  finding  themselves  in  company:  the 
venerable  Gabriel,  Archbishop  of  Janina,  and  uncle 
of  the  unfortunate  Euphrosyne,  who  had  been 
dragged  thither  by  force ;  Abbas,  the  old  head  of  the 
police,  who  had  presided  at  the  execution  of  the 
Christian  martyr;  the  holy  bishop  of  Velas,  still 
bearing  the  marks  of  the  chains  with  which  Ali  had 
loaded  him;  and  Porphyro,  Archbishop  of  Arta,  to 
whom  the  turban  would  have  been  more  becoming 
than  the  mitre. 

Ashamed  of  the  part  he  was  obliged  to  play,  Ali, 
after  long  hesitation,  decided  on  speaking,  and, 
addressing  the  Christians,  "O  Greeks!"  he  said, 
"  examine  my  conduct  with  unprejudiced  minds, 
and  you  will  see  manifest  proofs  of  the  confidence 
and  consideration  which  I  have  ever  shown  you. 
What  pacha  has  ever  treated  you  as  I  have  done? 
Who  would  have  treated  your  priests  and  the 
objects  of  your  worship  with  as  much  respect? 
Who  else  would  have  conceded  the  privileges  which 
you  enjoy?  for  you  hold  rank  in  my  councils,  and 
both  the  police  and  the  administration  of  my  States 
are  in  your  hands.  I  do  not,  however,  seek  to  deny 
the  evils  with  which  I  have  afflicted  you;  but,  alas! 
these  evils  have  been  the  result  of  my  enforced 
obedience  to  the  cruel  and  perfidious  orders  of  the 
Sublime  Porte.    It  is  to  the  Porte  that  these  wrongs 



must  be  attributed,  for  if  my  actions  be  attentively 
regarded  it  will  be  seen  that  I  only  did  harm  when 
compelled  thereto  by  the  course  of  events.  Inter- 
rogate my  actions,  they  will  speak  more  fully  than 
a  detailed  apology. 

"My  position  with  regard  to  the  Suliotes  allowed 
no  half-and-half  measures.  Having  once  broken 
with  them,  I  was  obliged  either  to  drive  them  from 
my  country  or  to  exterminate  them.  I  understood 
the  political  hatred  of  the  Ottoman  Cabinet  too 
well  not  to  know  that  it  would  declare  war  against 
me  sooner  or  later,  and  I  knew  that  resistance  would 
be  impossible,  if  on  one  side  I  had  to  repel  the  Otto- 
man aggression,  and  on  the  other  to  fight  against 
the  formidable  Suliotes. 

"  I  might  say  the  same  of  the  Parganiotes.  You 
know  that  their  town  was  the  haunt  of  my  enemies, 
and  each  time  that  I  appealed  to  them  to  change 
their  ways  they  answered  only  with  insults  and 
threats.  They  constantly  aided  the  Suliotes  with 
whom  I  was  at  war;  and  if  at  this  moment  they 
still  were  occupying  Parga,  you  would  see  them 
throw  open  the  gates  of  Epirus  to  the  forces  of  the 
sultan.  But  all  this  does  not  prevent  my  being 
aware  that  my  enemies  blame  me  severely,  and 
indeed  I  also  blame  myself,  and  deplore  the  faults 
which  the  difficulty  of  my  position  has  entailed  upon 
me.     Strong  in  my  repentance,  I  do  not  hesitate  to 



address  myself  to  those  whom  I  have  most  griev- 
ously wounded.  Thus  I  have  long  since  recalled 
to  my  service  a  great  number  of  Suliotes,  and  those 
who  have  responded  to  my  invitation  are  occupying 
important  posts  near  my  person.  To  complete  the 
reconciliation,  I  have  written  to  those  who  are  still 
in  exile,  desiring  them  to  return  fearlessly  to  their 
country,  and  I  have  certain  information  that  this 
proposal  has  been  everywhere  accepted  with  enthu- 
siasm. The  Suliotes  will  soon  return  to  their  ances- 
tral houses,  and,  reunited  under  my  standard,  will 
join  me  in  combating  the  Osmanlis,  our  common 

"  As  to  the  avarice  of  which  I  am  accused,  it 
seems  easily  justified  by  the  constant  necessity  I 
was  under  of  satisfying  the  inordinate  cupidity  of 
the  Ottoman  ministry,  which  incessantly  made  me 
pay  dearly  for  tranquillity.  This  was  a  personal 
affair,  I  acknowledge,  and  so  also  is  the  accumula- 
tion of  treasure  made  in  order  to  support  the  war 
which  the  Divan  has  at  length  declared." 

Here  AH  ceased,  then  having  caused  a  barrel  full 
of  gold  pieces  to  be  emptied  on  the  floor,  he  con- 
tinued— ■ 

"  Behold  a  part  of  the  treasure  I  have  preserved 
with  so  much  care,  and  which  has  been  specially 
obtained  from  the  Turks,  our  common  enemies: 
it  is  yours.     I  am  now  more  than  ever  delighted  at 



being  the  friend  of  the  Greeks.  Their  bravery  is  a 
sure  earnest  of  victory,  and  we  will  shortly  re-estab- 
lish the  Greek  Empire,  and  drive  the  Osmanlis 
across  the  Bosphorus.  O  bishops  and  priests  of 
Issa  the  prophet!  bless  the  arms  of  the  Christians, 
your  children.  O  primates!  I  call  upon  you  to 
defend  your  rights,  and  to  rule  justly  the  brave 
nation  associated  with  my  interests." 

This  discourse  produced  very  different  impres- 
sions on  the  Christian  priests  and  archons.  Some 
replied  only  by  raising  looks  of  despair  to  Heaven, 
others  murmured  their  adhesion.  A  great  number 
remained  uncertain,  not  knowing  what  to  decide. 
The  Mirdite  chief,  he  who  had  refused  to  slaughter 
the  Kardikiotes,  declared  that  neither  he  nor  any 
Skipetar  of  the  Latin  communion  would  bear  arms 
against  their  legitimate  sovereign  the  sultan.  But 
his  words  were  drowned  by  cries  of  "  Long  live  Ali 
Pacha!  Long  live  the  restorer  of  liberty!  "  uttered 
by  some  chiefs  of  adventurers  and  brigands. 



THE  next  day,  May  24th,  1820,  Ali  addressed 
a  circular  letter  to  his  brothers  the  Chris- 
tians, announcing  that  in  future  he  would  consider 
them  as  his  most  faithful  subjects,  and  that  hence- 
forth he  remitted  the  taxes  paid  to  his  own  family. 
He  wound  up  by  asking  for  soldiers,  but  the  Greeks 
having  learnt  the  instability  of  his  promises,  re- 
mained deaf  to  his  invitations.  At  the  same  time 
he  sent  messengers  to  the  Montenegrins  and  the 
Servians,  inciting  them  to  revolt,  and  organised 
insurrections  in  Wallachia  and  Moldavia  to  the 
very  environs  of  Constantinople. 

Whilst  the  Ottoman  vassals  assembled  only  in 
small  numbers  and  very  slowly  under  their  respec- 
tive standards,  every  day  there  collected  round  the 
castle  of  Janina  whole  companies  of  Toxidse,  of 
Tapazetse,  and  of  Chamida?;  so  that  Ali,  knowing 
that  Ismail  Pacho  Bey  had  boasted  that  he  could 
arrive  in  sight  of  Janina  without  firing  a  gun,  said 
in  his  turn  that  he  would  not  treat  with  the  Porte 
until  he  and  his  troops  should  be  within  eight 
leagues  of  Constantinople. 



He  had  fortified  and  supplied  with  munitions  of 
war  Ochrida,  Avlone,  Cannia,  Berat,  Cleisoura, 
Premiti,  the  port  of  Panormus,  Santi-Quaranta, 
Buthrotum,  Delvino,  Argyro-Castron,  Tepelen, 
Parga,  Prevesa,  Sderli,  Paramythia,  Arta,  the  post 
of  the  Five  Wells,  Janina  and  its  castles.  These 
places  contained  four  hundred  and  twenty  cannons 
of  all  sizes,  for  the  most  part  in  bronze,  mounted 
on  siege-carriages,  and  seventy  mortars.  Besides 
these,  there  were  in  the  castle  by  the  lake,  independ- 
ently of  the  guns  in  position,  forty  field-pieces,  sixty 
mountain  guns,  a  number  of  Congreve  rockets, 
formerly  given  him  by  the  English,  and  an  enor- 
mous quantity  of  munitions  of  war.  Finally,  he 
endeavoured  to  establish  a  line  of  semaphores 
between  Janina  and  Prevesa,  in  order  to  have 
prompt  news  of  the  Turkish  fleet,  which  was  ex- 
pected to  appear  on  this  coast. 

AH,  whose  strength  seemed  to  increase  with  age, 
saw  to  everything  and  appeared  everywhere;  some- 
times in  a  litter  borne  by  his  Albanians,  sometimes 
in  a  carriage  raised  into  a  kind  of  platform,  but  it 
was  more  frequently  on  horseback  that  he  appeared 
among  his  labourers.  Often  he  sat  on  the  bastions 
in  the  midst  of  the  batteries,  and  conversed  famil- 
iarly with  those  who  surrounded  him.  He  narrated 
the  successes  formerly  obtained  against  the  sultan 
by  Kara  Bazaklia,  Vizier  of  Scodra,  who,  like  him- 



self,  had  been  attained  with  the  sentence  of  depriva- 
tion and  excommunication ;  recounting  how  the 
rebel  pacha,  shut  up  in  his  citadel  with  seventy-two 
warriors,  had  seen  collapse  at  his  feet  the  united 
forces  of  four  great  provinces  of  the  Ottoman  Em- 
pire, commanded  by  twenty-two  pachas,  who  were 
almost  entirely  annihilated  in  one  day  by  the 
Guegues.  He  reminded  them  also  of  the  brilliant 
victory  gained  by  Passevend  Oglon,  Pacha  of 
Widdin,  of  quite  recent  memory,  which  is  celebrated 
in  the  warlike  songs  of  the  Klephts  of  Roumelia. 

Almost  simultaneously,  Ali's  sons,  Mouktar  and 
Veli,  arrived  at  Janina.  Veli  had  been  obliged,  or 
thought  himself  obliged,  to  evacuate  Lepanto  by 
superior  forces,  and  brought  only  discouraging 
news,  especially  as  to  the  wavering  fidelity  of  the 
Turks.  Mouktar,  on  the  contrary,  who  had  just 
made  a  tour  of  inspection  in  the  Musache,  had  only 
noticed  favourable  dispositions,  and  deluded  him- 
self with  the  idea  that  the  Chaonians,  who  had  taken 
up  arms,  had  done  so  in  order  to  aid  his  father. 
He  was  curiously  mistaken,  for  these  tribes  hated 
Ali  with  a  hatred  all  the  deeper  for  being  compelled 
to  conceal  it,  and  were  only  in  arms  in  order  to 
repel  aggression. 

The  advice  given  by  the  sons  to  their  father  as 
to  the  manner  of  treating  the  Mohammedans 
differed  widely  in  accordance  with  their  respective 



opinions.  Consequently  a  violent  quarrel  arose  be- 
tween them,  ostensibly  on  account  of  this  dispute, 
but  in  reality  on  the  subject  of  their  father's  inher- 
itance, which  both  equally  coveted.  Ali  had  brought 
all  his  treasure  to  Janina,  and  thenceforth  neither 
son  would  leave  the  neighbourhood  of  so  excellent 
a  father.  They  overwhelmed  him  with  marks  of 
affection,  and  vowed  that  the  one  had  left  Lepanto, 
and  the  other  Berat,  only  in  order  to  share  his 
danger.  Ali  was  by  no  means  duped  by  these  pro- 
testations, of  which  he  divined  the  motive  only  too 
well,  and  though  he  had  never  loved  his  sons,  he 
suffered  cruelly  in  discovering  that  he  was  not 
beloved  by  them. 

Soon  he  had  other  troubles  to  endure.  One  of 
his  gunners  assassinated  a  servant  of  Veli's,  and 
Ali  ordered  the  murderer  to  be  punished,  but  when 
the  sentence  was  to  be  carried  out  the  whole  corps 
of  artillery  mutinied.  In  order  to  save  appearances, 
the  pacha  was  compelled  to  allow  them  to  ask  for 
the  pardon  of  the  criminal  whom  he  dared  not 
punish.  This  incident  showed  him  that  his  author- 
ity was  no  longer  paramount,  and  he  began  to  doubt 
the  fidelity  of  his  soldiers.  The  arrival  of  the  Otto- 
man fleet  further  enlightened  him  to  his  true  posi- 
tion. Mussulman  and  Christian  alike,  all  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Northern  Albania,  who  had  hitherto 
concealed  their  disaffection  under  an  exaggerated 



semblance  of  devotion,  now  hastened  to  make  their 
submission  to  the  sultan.  The  Turks,  continuing 
their  success,  laid  siege  to  Parga,  which  was  held 
by  Mehemet,  Veli's  eldest  son.  He  was  prepared 
to  make  a  good  defence,  but  was  betrayed  by  his 
troops,  who  opened  the  gates  of  the  town,  and  he 
was  compelled  to  surrender  at  discretion.  He  was 
handed  over  to  the  commander  of  the  naval  forces, 
by  whom  he  was  well  treated,  being  assigned  the 
best  cabin  in  the  admiral's  ship  and  given  a  brilliant 
suite.  He  was  assured  that  the  sultan,  whose  only 
quarrel  was  with  his  grandfather,  would  show  him 
favour,  and  would  even  deal  mercifully  with  Ali, 
who,  with  his  treasures,  would  merely  be  sent  to  an 
important  province  in  Asia  Minor.  He  was  induced 
to  write  in  this  strain  to  his  family  and  friends  in 
order  to  induce  them  to  lay  down  their  arms. 

The  fall  of  Parga  made  a  great  impression  on  the 
Epirotes,  who  valued  its  possession  far  above  its 
real  importance.  Ali  rent  his  garments  and  cursed 
the  days  of  his  former  good  fortune,  during  which 
he  had  neither  known  how  to  moderate  his  resent- 
ment nor  to  foresee  the  possibility  of  any  change  of 

The  fall  of  Parga  was  succeeded  by  that  of  Arta, 
of  Mongliana,  where  was  situated  Ali's  country 
house,  and  of  the  post  of  the  Five  Wells.  Then 
came  a  yet  more  overwhelming  piece  of  news  :  Omar 



Brionis,  whom  AH,  having  formerly  despoiled  of 
his  wealth,  had  none  the  less  recently  appointed 
general-in-chief,  had  gone  over  to  the  enemy  with 
all  his  troops ! 

Ali  then  decided  on  carrying  out  a  project  he  had 
formed  in  case  of  necessity,  namely,  on  destroying 
the  town  of  Janina,  which  would  afford  shelter  to 
the  enemy  and  a  point  of  attack  against  the  for- 
tresses in  which  he  was  entrenched.  When  this 
resolution  was  known,  the  inhabitants  thought  only 
of  saving  themselves  and  their  property  from  the 
ruin  from  which  nothing  could  save  their  country. 
But  most  of  them  were  only  preparing  to  depart, 
when  Ali  gave  leave  to  the  Albanian  soldiers  yet 
faithful  to  him  to  sack  the  town. 

The  place  was  immediately  invaded  by  an  un- 
bridled soldiery.  The  Metropolitan  church,  where 
Greeks  and  Turks  alike  deposited  their  gold,  jewels, 
and  merchandise,  even  as  did  the  Greeks  of  old  in 
the  temples  of  the  gods,  became  the  first  object  of 
pillage.  Nothing  was  respected.  The  cupboards 
containing  sacred  vestments  were  broken  open,  so 
were  the  tombs  of  the  archbishops,  in  which  were 
interred  reliquaries  adorned  with  precious  stones; 
and  the  altar  itself  was  defiled  with  the  blood  of 
ruffians  who  fought  for  chalices  and  silver  crosses. 

The  town  presented  an  equally  terrible  spectacle ; 
neither   Christians   nor   Mussulmans   were   spared, 



and  the  women's  apartments,  forcibly  entered,  were 
given  up  to  violence.  Some  of  the  more  courageous 
citizens  endeavoured  to  defend  their  houses  and 
families  against  these  bandits,  and  the  clash  of 
arms  mingled  with  cries  and  groans.  All  at  once 
the  roar  of  a  terrible  explosion  rose  above  the 
other  sounds,  and  a  hail  of  bombs,  shells,  grenades, 
and  rockets  carried  devastation  and  fire  into  the 
different  quarters  of  the  town,  which  soon  pre- 
sented the  spectacle  of  an  immense  conflagration. 
AH,  seated  on  the  great  platform  of  the  castle  by 
the  lake,  which  seemed  to  vomit  fire  like  a  volcano, 
directed  the  bombardment,  pointing  out  the  places 
which  must  be  burnt.  Churches,  mosques,  libraries, 
bazaars,  houses,  all  were  destroyed,  and  the  only 
thing  spared  by  the  flames  was  the  gallows,  which 
remained  standing  in  the  midst  of  the  ruins. 

Of  the  thirty  thousand  persons  who  inhabited 
Janina  a  few  hours  previously,  perhaps  one  half  had 
escaped.  But  these  had  not  fled  many  leagues 
before  they  encountered  the  outposts  of  the  Otto- 
man army,  which,  instead  of  helping  or  protecting 
them,  fell  upon  them,  plundered  them,  and  drove 
them  towards  the  camp,  where  slavery  awaited 
them.  The  unhappy  fugitives,  taken  thus  between 
fire  and  sword,  death  behind  and  slavery  before, 
uttered  a  terrible  cry,  and  fled  in  all  directions. 
Those  who  escaped  the  Turks  were  stopped  in  the 



hill  passes  by  the  mountaineers  rushing  down  to  the 
prey;  only  large  numbers  who  held  together  could 
force  a  passage. 

In  some  cases  terror  bestows  extraordinary 
strength,  there  were  mothers  who,  with  infants  at 
the  breast,  covered  on  foot  in  one  day  the  fourteen 
leagues  which  separate  Janina  from  Arta.  But 
others,  seized  with  the  pangs  of  travail  in  the  midst 
of  their  flight,  expired  in  the  woods,  after  giving 
birth  to  babes,  who,  destitute  of  succour,  did  not 
survive  their  mothers.  And  young  girls,  having 
disfigured  themselves  by  gashes,  hid  themselves  in 
caves,  where  they  died  of  terror  and  hunger. 

The  Albanians,  intoxicated  with  plunder  and 
debauchery,  refused  to  return  to  the  castle,  and  only 
thought  of  regaining  their  country  and  enjoying  the 
fruit  of  their  rapine.  But  they  were  assailed  on 
the  way  by  peasants  covetous  of  their  booty,  and  by 
those  of  Janina  who  had  sought  refuge  with  them. 
The  roads  and  passes  were  strewn  with  corpses, 
and  the  trees  by  the  roadside  converted  into 
gibbets.  The  murderers  did  not  long  survive  their 

The  ruins  of  Janina  were  still  smoking  when, 
on  the  19th  August,  Pacho  Bey  made  his  entry. 
Having  pitched  his  tent  out  of  range  of  Ali's  can- 
non, he  proclaimed  aloud  the  firman  which  inaugu- 
rated him  as  Pacha  of  Janina  and  Delvino,  and  then 



raised  the  tails,  emblem  of  his  dignity.  Ali  heard 
on  the  summit  of  his  keep  the  acclamations  of  the 
Turks  who  saluted  Pacho  Bey,  his  former  servant, 
with  the  titles  of  Vali  of  Epirus,  and  Ghazi,  or 
Victorius.  After  this  ceremony,  the  cadi  read  the 
sentence,  confirmed  by  the  Mufti,  which  declared 
Ali  Tepelen  Veli-Zade  to  have  forfeited  his  dignities 
and  to  be  excommunicated,  adding  an  injunction  to 
all  the  faithful  that  henceforth  his  name  was  not  to 
be  pronounced  except  with  the  addition  of  "  Kara," 
or  "  black,"  which  is  bestowed  on  those  cut  off  from 
the  congregation  of  Sunnites,  or  Orthodox  Moham- 
medans. A  Marabout  then  cast  a  stone  towards  the 
castle,  and  the  anathema  upon  "  Kara  Ali  "  was 
repeated  by  the  whole  Turkish  army,  ending  with 
the  cry  of  "  Long  live  the  sultan !    So  be  it !  " 

But  it  was  not  by  ecclesiastical  thunders  that 
three  fortresses  could  be  reduced,  which  were 
defended  by  artillerymen  drawn  from  different 
European  armies,  who  had  established  an  excellent 
school  for  gunners  and  bombardiers.  The  besieged, 
having  replied  with  hootings  of  contempt  to  the 
acclamations  of  the  besiegers,  proceeded  to  enforce 
their  scorn  with  well-aimed  cannon  shots,  while  the 
rebel  flotilla,  dressed  as  if  for  a  fete-day,  passed 
slowly  before  the  Turks,  saluting  them  with 
cannon-shot  if  they  ventured  near  the  edge  of  the 



This  noisy  rhodomontade  did  not  prevent  AH 
from  being  consumed  with  grief  and  anxiety.  The 
sight  of  his  own  troops,  now  in  the  camp  of  Pacho 
Bey,  the  fear  of  being  for  ever  separated  from  his 
sons,  the  thought  of  his  grandson  in  the  enemy's 
hands,  all  threw  him  into  the  deepest  melancholy, 
and  his  sleepless  eyes  were  constantly  drowned  in 
tears.  He  refused  his  food,  and  sat  for  seven  days 
with  untrimmed  beard,  clad  in  mourning,  on  a  mat 
at  the  door  of  his  antechamber,  extending  his  hands 
to  his  soldiers,  and  imploring  them  to  slay  him 
rather  than  abandon  him.  His  wives,  seeing  him  in 
this  state,  and  concluding  all  was  lost,  filled  the  air 
with  their  lamentations.  All  began  to  think  that 
grief  would  bring  Ali  to  the  grave ;  but  his  soldiers, 
to  whose  protestations  he  at  first  refused  any  credit, 
represented  to  him  that  their  fate  was  indissolubly 
linked  with  his.  Pacho  Bey  having  proclaimed  that 
all  taken  in  arms  for  Ali  would  be  shot  as  sharers  in 
rebellion,  it  was  therefore  their  interest  to  support 
his  resistance  with  all  their  power.  They  also 
pointed  out  that  the  campaign  was  already  ad- 
vanced, and  that  the  Turkish  army,  which  had  for- 
gotten its  siege  artillery  at  Constantinople,  could 
not  possibly  procure  any  before  the  end  of  October, 
by  which  time  the  rains  would  begin,  and  the  enemy 
would  probably  be  short  of  food.  Moreover,  in 
any  case,  it  being  impossible  to  winter  in  a  ruined 



town,  the  foe  would  be  driven  to  seek  shelter  at  a 

These  representations,  made  with  warmth  and 
conviction,  and  supported  by  evidence,  began  to 
soothe  the  restless  fever  which  was  wasting  Ali,  and 
the  gentle  caresses  and  persuasions  of  Basillissa, 
the  beautiful  Christian  captive,  who  had  now  been 
his  wife  for  some  time,  completed  the  cure. 

At  the  same  time  his  sister  Cha'initza  gave  him 
an  astonishing  example  of  courage.  She  had  per- 
sisted, in  spite  of  all  that  could  be  said,  in  residing 
in  her  castle  of  Libokovo.  The  population,  whom  she 
had  cruelly  oppressed,  demanded  her  death,  but  no 
one  dared  attack  her.  Superstition  declared  that 
the  spirit  of  her  mother,  with  whom  she  kept  up  a 
mysterious  communication  even  beyond  the  portals 
of  the  grave,  watched  over  her  safety.  The  men- 
acing form  of  Kamco  had,  it  was  said,  appeared  to 
several  inhabitants  of  Tepelen,  brandishing  bones 
of  the  wretched  Kardikiotes,  and  demanding  fresh 
victims  with  loud  cries.  The  desire  of  vengeance 
had  urged  some  to  brave  these  unknown  dangers, 
and  twice,  a  warrior,  clothed  in  black,  had  warned 
them  back,  forbidding  them  to  lay  hands  on  a  sacri- 
legious woman,  whose  punishment  Heaven  reserved 
to  itself,  and  twice  they  had  returned  upon  their 

But  soon,  ashamed  of  their  terror,  they  attempted 


another  attack,  and  came  attired  in  the  colour  of 
the  Prophet.  This  time  no  mysterious  stranger 
appeared  to  forbid  their  passage  and  with  a  cry  of 
joy  they  climbed  the  mountain,  listening  for  any 
supernatural  warning.  Nothing  disturbed  the 
silence  and  solitude  save  the  bleating  of  flocks  and 
the  cries  of  birds  of  prey.  Arrived  on  the  platform 
of  Libokovo,  they  prepared  in  silence  to  surprise  the 
guards,  believing  the  castle  full  of  them.  They 
approached  crawling,  like  hunters  who  stalk  a  deer, 
already  they  had  reached  the  gate  of  the  enclosure, 
and  prepared  to  burst  it  open,  when  lo !  it  opened  of 
itself,  and  they  beheld  Cha'initza  standing  before 
them,  a  carabine  in  her  hand,  pistols  in  her  belt, 
and,  for  all  guard,  two  large  dogs. 

"  Halt!  ye  daring  ones,"  she  cried;  "neither  my 
life  nor  my  treasure  will  ever  be  at  your  mercy.  Let 
one  of  you  move  a  step  without  my  permission, 
and  this  place  and  the  ground  beneath  your  feet' 
will  engulf  you.  Ten  thousand  pounds  of  powder 
are  in  these  cellars.  I  will,  however,  grant  your 
pardon,  unworthy  though  you  are.  I  will  even 
allow  you  to  take  these  sacks  rilled  with  gold;  they 
may  recompense  you  for  the  losses  which  my 
brother's  enemies  have  recently  inflicted  on  you. 
But  depart  this  instant  without  a  word,  and  dare 
not  to  trouble  me  again;  I  have  other  means  of 
destruction  at  command  besides  gunpowder.     Life 



is  nothing  to  me,  remember  that;  but  your  moun- 
tains may  yet  at  my  command  become  the  tomb  of 
your  wives  and  children.    Go!  " 

She  ceased,  and  her  would-be  murderers  fled  in 

Shortly  after  the  plague  broke  out  in  these  moun- 
tains, Chainitza  had  distributed  infected  garments 
among  gipsies,  who  scattered  contagion  wherever 
they  went. 

"We  are  indeed  of  the  same  blood!"  cried  AH 
with  pride,  when  he  heard  of  his  sister's  conduct; 
and  from  that  hour  he  appeared  to  regain  all  the 
fire  and  audacity  of  his  youth.  When,  a  few  days 
later,  he  was  informed  that  Mouktar  and  Veli, 
seduced  by  the  brilliant  promises  of  Pacho  Bey,  had 
surrendered  Prevesa  and  Argyro-Castron,  "  It  does 
not  surprise  me,"  he  observed  coldly.  "  I  have  long 
known  them  to  be  unworthy  of  being  my  sons,  and 
henceforth  my  only  children  and  heirs  are  those 
who  defend  my  cause."  And  on  hearing  a  report 
that  both  had  been  beheaded  by  Pacho  Bey's  order, 
he  contented  himself  with  saying,  "  They  betrayed 
their  father,  and  have  only  received  their  deserts; 
speak  no  more  of  them."  And  to  show  how  little  it 
discouraged  him,  he  redoubled  his  fire  upon  the 

But  the  latter,  who  had  at  length  obtained  some 
artillery,  answered  his  fire  with  vigour,  and  began 



really  to  discrown  the  old  pacha's  fortress.  Feeling 
that  the  danger  was  pressing,  Ali  redoubled  both 
his  prudence  and  activity.  His  immense  treasures 
were  the  real  reason  of  the  war  waged  against 
him,  and  these  might  induce  his  own  soldiers  to 
rebel,  in  order  to  become  masters  of  them.  He 
resolved  to  protect  them  from  either  surprise  or 
conquest.  The  sum  necessary  for  present  use  was 
deposited  in  the  powder  magazine,  so  that,  if  driven 
to  extremity,  it  might  be  destroyed  in  a  moment; 
the  remainder  was  enclosed  in  strong-boxes,  and  , 
sunk  in  different  parts  of  the  lake.  This  labour 
lasted  a  fortnight,  when,  finally,  Ali  put  to  death 
the  gipsies  who  had  been  employed  about  it,  in  order 
that  the  secret  might  remain  with  himself. 

While  he  thus  set  his  own  affairs  in  order,  he 
applied  himself  to  the  troubling  those  of  his 
adversary.  A  great  number  of  Suliots  had  joined 
the  Ottoman  army  in  order  to  assist  in  the  destruc- 
tion of  him  who  formerly  had  ruined  their  country. 
Their  camp,  which  for  a  long  time  had  enjoyed 
immunity  from  the  guns  of  Janina,  was  one  day 
overwhelmed  with  bombs.  The  Suliots  were  terri- 
fied, until  they  remarked  that  the  bombs  did  not 
burst.  They  then,  much  astonished,  proceeded  to 
pick  up  and  examine  these  projectiles.  Instead  of 
a  match,  they  found  rolls  of  paper  enclosed  in  a 
wooden    cylinder,    on    which    was    engraved    these 



words,  "  Open  carefully."  The  paper  contained  a 
truly  Macchiavellian  letter  from  Ali,  which  began 
by  saying  that  they  were  quite  justified  in  having 
taken  up  arms  against  him,  and  added  that  he  now 
sent  them  a  part  of  the  pay  of  which  the  traitorous 
Ismail  was  defrauding  them,  and  that  the  bombs 
thrown  into  their  cantonment  contained  six  thou- 
sand sequins  in  gold.  He  begged  them  to  amuse 
Ismail  by  complaints  and  recriminations,  while  his 
gondola  should  by  night  fetch  one  of  them,  to  whom 
he  would  communicate  what  more  he  had  to  say. 
If  they  accepted  his  proposition,  they  were  to  light 
three  fires  as  a  signal. 

The  signal  was  not  long  in  appearing.  Ali  des- 
patched his  barge,  which  took  on  board  a  monk,  the 
spiritual  chief  of  the  Suliots.  He  was  clothed  in 
sackcloth,  and  repeated  the  prayers  for  the  dying, 
as  one  going  to  execution.  Ali,  however,  received 
him  with  the  utmost  cordiality.  He  assured  the 
priest  of  his  repentance,  his  good  intentions,  his 
esteem  for  the  Greek  captains,  and  then  gave  him  a 
paper  which  startled  him  considerably.  It  was  a 
despatch,  intercepted  by  Ali,  from  Khalid  Effendi 
to  the  Seraskier  Ismail,  ordering  the  latter  to  exter- 
minate all  Christians  capable  of  bearing  arms.  All 
male  children  were  to  be  circumcised,  and  brought 
up  to  form  a  legion  drilled  in  European  fashion; 
and  the  letter  went  on  to  explain  how  the  Suliots, 



the  Armatolis,  the  Greek  races  of  the  mainland  and 
those  of  the  Archipelago  should  be  disposed  of. 
Seeing  the  effect  produced  on  the  monk  by  the 
perusal  of  this  paper,  Ali  hastened  to  make  him 
the  most  advantageous  offers,  declaring  that  his  own 
wish  was  to  give  Greece  a  political  existence,  and 
only  requiring  that  the  Suliot  captains  should  send 
him  a  certain  number  of  their  children  as  hostages. 
He  then  had  cloaks  and  arms  brought  which  he 
presented  to  the  monk,  dismissing  him  in  haste,  in 
order  that  darkness  might  favour  his  return. 

The  next  day  Ali  was  resting,  with  his  head  on 
Basilissa's  lap,  when  he  was  informed  that  the 
enemy  was  advancing  upon  the  intrenchments  which 
had  been  raised  in  the  midst  of  the  ruins  of  Janina. 
Already  the  outposts  had  been  forced,  and  the  fury 
of  the  assailants  threatened  to  triumph  over  all 
obstacles.  Ali  immediately  ordered  a  sortie  of  all 
his  troops,  announcing  that  he  himself  would  con- 
duct it.  His  master  of  the  horse  brought  him  the 
famous  Arab  charger  called  the  Dervish,  his  chief 
huntsman  presented  him  with  his  guns,  weapons 
still  famous  in  Epirus,  where  they  figure  in  the 
ballads  of  the  Skipetars.  The  first  was  an  enormous 
gun,  of  Versailles  manufacture,  formerly  presented 
by  the  conqueror  of  the  Pyramids  to  Djezzar,  the 
Pacha  of  St.-Jean-d'Arc,  who  amused  himself  by 
enclosing  living  victims  in  the  walls  of  his  palace, 



in  order  that  he  might  hear  th*ir  groans  in  the 
midst  of  his  festivities.  Next  came  a  carabine  given 
to  the  Pacha  of  Janina  in  the  name  of  Napoleon  in 
1806;  then  the  battle  musket  of  Charles  xir  of 
Sweden,  and  finally  the  much  revered  sabre  of 
Krim-Guerai.  The  signal  was  given;  the  draw- 
bridge crossed;  the  Guegues  and  other  adventurers 
uttered  a  terrific  shout;  to  which  the  cries  of  the 
assailants  replied.  Ali  placed  himself  on  a  height, 
whence  his  eagle  eye  sought  to  discern  the  hostile 
chiefs ;  but  he  called  and  defied  Pacho  Bey  in  vain. 
Perceiving  Hassan-Stamboul,  colonel  of  the  Im- 
perial bombardiers  outside  his  battery,  Ali 
demanded  the  gun  of  Djezzar,  and  laid  him  dead 
on  the  spot.  He  then  took  the  carabine  of  Napo- 
leon, and  shot  with  it  Kekriman,  Bey  of  Sponga, 
whom  he  had  formerly  appointed  Pacha  of  Lepanto. 
The  enemy  now  became  aware  of  his  presence,  and 
sent  a  lively  fusillade  in  his  direction;  but  the  balls 
seemed  to  diverge  from  his  person.  As  soon  as  the 
smoke  cleared,  he  perceived  Capelan,  Pacha  of 
Croie,  who  had  been  his  guest,  and  wounded  him 
mortally  in  the  chest.  Capelan  uttered  a  sharp  cry, 
and  his  terrified  horse  caused  disorder  in  the  ranks. 
Ali  picked  off  a  large  number  of  officers,  one  after 
another;  every  shot  was  mortal,  and  his  enemies 
began  to  regard  him  in  the  light  of  a  destroying 
angel.     Disorder  spread  through  the  forces  of  the 



Seraskier,   who   retreated   hastily   to   his   intrench- 

The  Suliots  meanwhile  sent  a  deputation  to  Ismail 
offering  their  submission,  and  seeking  to  regain 
their  country  in  a  peaceful  manner;  but,  being  re- 
ceived by  him  with  the  most  humiliating  contempt, 
they  resolved  to  make  common  cause  with  AH. 
They  hesitated  over  the  demand  for  hostages,  and 
at  length  required  Ali's  grandson,  Hussien  Pacha, 
in  exchange.  After  many  difficulties,  AH  at  length 
consented,  and  the  agreement  was  concluded.  The 
Suliots  received  five  hundred  thousand  piastres  and 
a  hundred  and  fifty  charges  of  ammunition,  Hussien 
Pacha  was  given  up  to  them,  and  they  left  the  Otto- 
man camp  at  dead  of  night.  Morco  Botzaris  re- 
mained with  three  hundred  and  twenty  men,  threw 
down  the  palisades,  and  then  ascending  Mount 
Paktoras  with  his  troops,  waited  for  dawn  in  order 
to  announce  his  defection  to  the  Turkish  army.  As 
soon  as  the  sun  appeared  he  ordered  a  general  salvo 
of  artillery  and  shouted  his  war-cry.  A  few  Turks 
in  charge  of  an  outpost  were  slain,  the  rest  fled.  A 
cry  of  "  To  arms  "  was  raised,  and  the  standard  of 
the  Cross  floated  before  the  camp  of  the  infidels. 

Signs  and  omens  of  a  coming  general  insurrec- 
tion appeared  on  all  sides;  there  was  no  lack  of 
prodigies,  visions,  or  popular  rumours,  and  the 
Mohammedans  became  possessed  with  the  idea  that 



the  last  hour  of  their  rule  in  Greece  had  struck. 
AH  Pacha  favoured  the  general  demoralisation ;  and 
his  agents,  scattered  throughout  the  land,  fanned 
the  flame  of  revolt.  Ismail  Pacha  was  deprived  of 
his  title  of  Seraskier,  and  superseded  by  Kursheed 
Pacha.  As  soon  as  Ali  heard  this,  he  sent  a  mes- 
senger to  Kursheed,  hoping  to  influence  him  in  his 
favour.  Ismail,  distrusting  the  Skipetars,  who 
formed  part  of  his  troops,  demanded  hostages  from 
them.  The  Skipetars  were  indignant,  and  Ali  hear- 
ing of  their  discontent,  wrote  inviting  them  to 
return  to  him,  and  endeavouring  to  dazzle  them 
by  the  most  brilliant  promises.  These  overtures 
were  received  by  the  offended  troops  with  enthusi- 
asm, and  Alexis  Noutza,  Ali's  former  general,  who 
had  forsaken  him  for  Ismail,  but  who  had  secretly 
returned  to  his  allegiance  and  acted  as  a  spy  on  the 
Imperial  army,  was  deputed  to  treat  with  him.  As 
soon  as  he  arrived,  Ali  began  to  enact  a  comedy  in 
the  intention  of  rebutting  the  accusation  of  incest 
with  his  daughter-in-law  Zobeide;  for  this  charge, 
which,  since  Veli  himself  had  revealed  the  secret  of 
their  common  shame,  could  only  be  met  by  vague 
denials,  had  never  ceased  to  produce  a  most  un- 
favourable impression  on  Noutza's  mind.  Scarcely 
had  he  entered  the  castle  by  the  lake,  when  Ali 
rushed  to  meet  him,  and  flung  himself  into  his 
arms.     In  presence  of  his  officers  and  the  garrison, 



he  loaded  him  with  the  most  tender  names,  calling 
him  his  son,  his  beloved  Alexis,  his  own  legitimate 
child,  even  as  Salik  Pacha.  He  burst  into  tears, 
and,  with  terrible  oaths,  called  Heaven  to  witness 
that  Mouktar  and  Veli,  whom  he  disavowed  on 
account  of  their  cowardice,  were  the  adulterous  off- 
spring of  Emineh's  amours.  Then,  raising  his 
hand  against  the  tomb  of  her  whom  he  had  loved 
so  much,  he  drew  the  stupefied  Noutza  into  the 
recess  of  a  casemate,  and  sending  for  Basilissa, 
presented  him  to  her  as  a  beloved  son,  whom  only 
political  considerations  had  compelled  him  to  keep 
at  a  distance,  because,  being  born  of  a  Christian 
mother,  he  had  been  brought  up  in  the  faith  of 

Having  thus  softened  the  suspicions  of  his 
soldiers,  Ali  resumed  his  underground  intrigues. 
The  Suliots  had  informed  him  that  the  sultan  had 
made  them  extremely  advantageous  offers  if  they 
would  return  to  his  service,  and  they  demanded 
pressingly  that  Ali  should  give  up  to  them  the  citadel 
of  Kiapha,  which  was  still  in  his  possession,  and 
which  commanded  Suli.  He  replied  with  the  infor- 
mation that  he  intended,  January  26,  to  attack  the 
camp  of  Pacho  Bey  early  in  the  morning,  and 
requested  their  assistance.  In  order  to  cause  a 
diversion,  they  were  to  descend  into  the  valley  of 
Janina  at  night,  and  occupy  a  position  which  he 



pointed  out  to  them,  and  he  gave  them  the  word 
"  flouri  "  as  password  for  the  night.  If  successful, 
he  undertook  to  grant  their  request. 

Ali's  letter  was  intercepted,  and  fell  into  Ismail's 
hands,  who  immediately  conceived  a  plan  for 
snaring  his  enemy  in  his  own  toils.  When  the 
night  fixed  by  AH  arrived,  the  Seraskier  marched 
out  a  strong  division  under  the  command  of  Omar 
Brionis,  who  had  been  recently  appointed  Pacha, 
and  who  was  instructed  to  proceed  along  the  west- 
ern slope  of  Mount  Paktoras  as  far  as  the  village  of 
Besdoune,  where  he  was  to  place  an  outpost,  and 
then  to  retire  along  the  other  side  of  the  mountain, 
so  that,  being  visible  in  the  starlight,  the  sentinels 
placed  to  watch  on  the  hostile  towers  might  take 
his  men  for  the  Suliots  and  report  to  Ali  that  the 
position  of  Saint-Nicolas,  assigned  to  them,  had 
been  occupied  as  arranged.  All  preparations  for 
battle  were  made,  and  the  two  mortal  enemies, 
Ismail  and  Ali,  retired  to  rest,  each  cherishing  the 
darling  hope  of  shortly  annihilating  his  rival. 

At  break  of  day  a  lively  cannonade,  proceeding 
from  the  castle  of  the  lake  and  from  Lithoritza, 
announced  that  the  besieged  intended  a  sortie. 
Soon  Ali's  Skipetars,  preceded  by  a  detachment  of 
French,  Italians,  and  Swiss,  rushed  through  the 
Ottoman  fire  and  carried  the  first  redoubt,  held  by 
Ibrahim-Aga-Stamboul.     They  found  six  pieces  of 



cannon,  which  the  Turks,  notwithstanding  their 
terror,  had  had  time  to  spike.  This  misadventure, 
for  they  had  hoped  to  turn  the  artillery  against  the 
intrenched  camp,  decided  Ali's  men  on  attacking 
the  second  redoubt,  commanded  by  the  chief  bom- 
bardier. The  Asiatic  troops  of  Baltadgi  Pacha 
rushed  to  its  defence.  At  their  head  appeared  the 
chief  Imaun  of  the  army,  mounted  on  a  richly 
caparisoned  mule  and  repeating  the  curse  fulmi- 
nated by  the  mufti  against  Ali,  his  adherents,  his 
castles,  and  even  his  cannons,  which  it  was  supposed 
might  be  rendered  harmless  by  these  adjurations. 
Ali's  Mohammedan  Skipetars  averted  their  eyes, 
and  spat  into  their  bosoms,  hoping  thus  to  escape 
the  evil  influence.  A  superstitious  terror  was  be- 
ginning to  spread  among  them,  when  a  French 
adventurer  took  aim  at  the  Imaun  and  brought  him 
down,  amid  the  acclamations  of  the  soldiers;  where- 
upon the  Asiatics,  imagining  that  Eblis  himself 
fought  against  them,  retired  within  the  intrench- 
ments,  whither  the  Skipetars,  no  longer  fearing  the 
curse,  pursued  them  vigorously. 

At  the  same  time,  however,  a  very  different 
action  was  proceeding  at  the  northern  end  of  the 
besiegers'  intrenchments.  Ali  left  his  castle  of  the 
lake,  preceded  by  twelve  torch-bearers  carrying 
braziers  filled  with  lighted  pitch-wood,  and  ad- 
vanced towards  the  shore  of  Saint-Nicolas,  expect- 



ing  to  unite  with  the  Suliots.  He  stopped  in  the 
middle  of  the  ruins  to  wait  for  sunrise,  and  while 
there  heard  that  his  troops  had  carried  the  battery 
of  Ibrahim-Aga-Stamboul.  Overjoyed,  he  ordered 
them  to  press  on  to  the  second  intrenchment,  prom- 
ising that  in  an  hour,  when  he  should  have  been 
joined  by  the  Suliots,  he  would  support  them,  and 
he  then  pushed  forward,  preceded  by  two  field- 
pieces  with  their  waggons,  and  followed  by  fifteen 
hundred  men,  as  far  as  a  large  plateau  on  which  he 
perceived  at  a  little  distance  an  encampment  which 
he  supposed  to  be  that  of  the  Suliots.  He  then 
ordered  the  Mirdite  prince,  Kyr  Lekos,  to  advance 
with  an  escort  of  twenty-five  men,  and  when  within 
hearing  distance  to  wave  a  blue  flag  and  call  out 
the  password.  An  Imperial  officer  replied  with  the 
countersign  "  flouri,"  and  Lekos  immediately  sent 
back  word  to  Ali  to  advance.  His  orderly  hastened 
back,  and  the  prince  entered  the  camp,  where  he 
and  his  escort  were  immediately  surrounded  and 

On  receiving  the  message,  Ali  began  to  advance, 
but  cautiously,  being  uneasy  at  seeing  no  signs  of 
the  Mirdite  troop.  Suddenly,  furious  cries,  and  a 
lively  fusillade,  proceeding  from  the  vineyards  and 
thickets,  announced  that  he  had  fallen  into  a  trap, 
and  at  the  same  moment  Omar  Pacha  fell  upon 
his  advance  guard,  which  broke,  crying  "  Treason !  " 



All  sabre'd  the  fugitives  mercilessly,  but  fear  carried 
them  away,  and,  forced  to  follow  the  crowd,  he 
perceived  the  Kersales  and  Baltadgi  Pacha  descend- 
ing the  side  of  Mount  Paktoras,  intending  to  cut  off 
his  retreat.  He  attempted  another  route,  hastening 
towards  the  road  to  Dgeleva,  but  found  it  held  by 
the  Tapagetse  under  the  Bimbashi  Aslon  of  Argyro- 
Castron.  He  was  surrounded,  all  seemed  lost,  and 
feeling  that  his  last  hour  had  come,  he  thought 
only  of  selling  his  life  as  dearly  as  possible.  Col- 
lecting his  bravest  soldiers  round  him,  he  prepared 
for  a  last  rush  on  Omar  Pacha;  when,  suddenly, 
with  an  inspiration  born  of  despair,  he  ordered  his 
ammunition  waggons  to  be  blown  up.  The 
Kersales,  who  were  about  to  seize  them,  vanished 
in  the  explosion,  which  scattered  a  hail  of  stones 
and  debris  far  and  wide.  Under  cover  of  the  smoke 
and  general  confusion,  Ali  succeeded  in  withdraw- 
ing his  men  to  the  shelter  of  the  guns  of  his  castle 
of  Litharitza,  where  he  continued  the  fight  in  order 
to  give  time  to  the  fugitives  to  rally,  and  to  give 
the  support  he  had  promised  to  those  fighting  on 
the  other  slope;  who,  in  the  meantime,  had  carried 
the  second  battery  and  were  attacking  the  fortified 
camp.  Here  the  Seraskier  Ismail  met  them  with  a 
resistance  so  well  managed,  that  he  was  able  to 
conceal  the  attack  he  was  preparing  to  make  on 
their  rear.    Ali,  guessing  that  the  object  of  Ismail's 



manoeuvres  was  to  crush  those  whom  he  had  prom- 
ised to  help,  and  unable,  on  account  of  the  distance, 
either  to  support  or  to  warn  them,  endeavoured  to 
impede  Omar  Pacha,  hoping  still  that  his  Skipetars 
might  either  see  or  hear  him.  He  encouraged  the 
fugitives,  who  recognised  him  from  afar  by  his 
scarlet  dolman,  by  the  dazzling  whiteness  of  his 
horse,  and  by  the  terrible  cries  which  he  uttered; 
for,  in  the  heat  of  battle,  this  extraordinary  man 
appeared  to  have  regained  the  vigour  and  audacity, 
of  his  youth.  Twenty  times  he  led  his  soldiers  to 
the  charge,  and  as  often  was  forced  to  recoil 
towards  his  castles.  He  brought  up  his  reserves, 
but  in  vain.  Fate  had  declared  against  him.  His 
troops  which  were  attacking  the  intrenched  camp 
found  themselves  taken  between  two  fires,  and  he 
could  not  help  them.  Foaming  with  passion,  he 
threatened  to  rush  singly  into  the  midst  of  his 
enemies.  His  officers  besought  him  to  calm  him- 
self, and,  receiving  only  refusals,  at  last  threatened 
to  lay  hands  upon  him  if  he  persisted  in  exposing 
himself  like  a  private  soldier.  Subdued  by  this  un- 
accustomed opposition,  Ali  allowed  himself  to  be 
forced  back  into  the  castle  by  the  lake,  while  his 
soldiers  dispersed  in  various  directions. 

But  even  this  defeat  did  not  discourage  the  fierce 
pacha.  Reduced  to  extremity,  he  yet  entertained 
the   hope   of    shaking   the    Ottoman    Empire,    and 



from  the  recesses  of  his  fortress  he  agitated  the 
whole  of  Greece.  The  insurrection  which  he  had 
stirred  up,  without  foreseeing  what  the  results 
might  be,  was  spreading  with  the  rapidity  of  a 
lighted  train  of  powder,  and  the  Mohammedans 
were  beginning  to  tremble,  when  at  length  Kursheed 
Pacha,  having  crossed  the  Pindus  at  the  head  of  an 
army  of  eighty  thousand  men,  arrived  before 

His  tent  had  hardly  been  pitched,  when  Ali 
caused  a  salute  of  twenty-one  guns  to  be  fired  in 
his  honour,  and  sent  a  messenger,  bearing  a  letter 
of  congratulation  on  his  safe  arrival.  This  letter, 
artful  and  insinuating,  was  calculated  to  make  a 
deep  impression  on  Kursheed.  Ali  wrote  that, 
being  driven  by  the  infamous  lies  of  a  former 
servant,  called  Pacho  Bey,  into  resisting,  not  indeed 
the  authority  of  the  sultan,  before  whom  he  humbly 
bent  his  head  weighed  down  with  years  and  grief, 
but  the  perfidious  plots  of  His  Highness's  advisers, 
he  considered  himself  happy  in  his  misfortunes  to 
have  dealings  with  a  vizier  noted  for  his  lofty  quali- 
ties. He  then  added  that  these  rare  merits  had 
doubtless  been  very  far  from  being  estimated  at 
their  proper  value  by  a  Divan  in  which  men  were 
only  classed  in  accordance  with  the  sums  they  laid 
out  in  gratifying  the  rapacity  of  the  ministers. 
Otherwise,  how  came  it  about  that  Kursheed  Pacha, 

6— Dumas— Vol.  7  2277 


Viceroy  of  Egypt  after  the  departure  of  the  French, 
the  conqueror  of  the  Mamelukes,  was  only  rewarded 
for  these  services  by  being  recalled  without  a 
reason?  Having  been  twice  Romili-Valicy,  why, 
when  he  should  have  enjoyed  the  reward  of  his 
labours,  was  he  relegated  to  the  obscure  post  of 
Salonica?  And,  when  appointed  Grand  Vizier  and 
sent  to  pacify  Servia,  instead  of  being  entrusted 
with  the  government  of  this  kingdom  which  he 
had  reconquered  for  the  sultan,  why  was  he  hastily 
despatched  to  Aleppo  to  repress  a  trifling  sedition 
of  emirs  and  janissaries?  Now,  scarcely  arrived 
in  the  Morea,  his  powerful  arm  was  to  be  employed 
against  an  aged  man. 

Ali  then  plunged  into  details,  related  the  pillag- 
ing, avarice,  and  imperious  dealing  of  Pacho  Bey, 
as  well  as  of  the  pachas  subordinate  to  him;  how 
they  had  alienated  the  public  mind,  how  they  had 
succeeded  in  offending  the  Armatolis,  and  espe- 
cially the  Suliots,  who  might  be  brought  back  to 
their  duty  with  less  trouble  than  these  imprudent 
chiefs  had  taken  to  estrange  them.  He  gave  a  mass 
of  special  information  on  this  subject,  and  explained 
that  in  advising  the  Suliots  to  retire  to  their  moun- 
tains he  had  really  only  put  them  in  a  false  position 
as  long  as  he  retained  possession  of  the  fort  of 
Kiapha,  which  is  the  key  of  the  Selleide. 

The  Seraskier  replied  in  a  friendly  manner, 


ordered  the  military,  salute  to  be  returned  in  Ali's 
honour,  shot  for  shot,  and  forbade  that  henceforth 
a  person  of  the  valour  and  intrepidity  of  the  Lion  of 
Tepelen  should  be  described  by  the  epithet  of  "  ex- 
communicated." He  also  spoke  of  him  by  his 
title  of  "  vizier,"  which  he  declared  he  had  never 
forfeited  the  right  to  use;  and  he  also  stated  that 
he  had  only  entered  Epirus  as  a  peace-maker. 
Kursheed's  emissaries  had  just  seized  some  letters 
sent  by  Prince  Alexander  Ypsilanti  to  the  Greek 
captains  at  Epirus.  Without  going  into  details  of 
the  events  which  led  to  the  Greek  insurrection,  the 
prince  advised  the  Polemarchs,  chiefs  of  the  Selleid, 
to  aid  Ali  Pacha  in  his  revolt  against  the  Porte, 
but  to  so  arrange  matters  that  they  could  easily 
detach  themselves  again,  their  only  aim  being  to 
seize  his  treasures,  which  might  be  used  to  procure 
the  freedom  of  Greece. 

These  letters  a  messenger  from  Kursheed 
delivered  to  Ali.  They  produced  such  an  impression 
upon  his  mind  that  he  secretly  resolved  only  to  make 
use  of  the  Greeks,  and  to  sacrifice  them  to  his  own 
designs,  if  he  could  not  inflict  a  terrible  vengeance 
on  their  perfidy.  He  heard  from  the  messenger  at  the 
same  time  of  the  agitation  in  European  Turkey,  the 
hopes  of  the  Christians,  and  the  apprehension  of 
a  rupture  between  the  Porte  and  Russia.  It  was 
necessary  to  lay  aside  vain  resentment  and  to  unite 



against  these  threatening  dangers.  Kursheed  Pacha 
was,  said  his  messenger,  ready  to  consider  favour- 
ably any  propositions  likely  to  lead  to  a  prompt 
pacification,  and  would  value  such  a  result  far  more 
highly  than  the  glory  of  subduing  by  means  of  the 
imposing  force  at  his  command,  a  valiant  prince 
whom  he  had  always  regarded  as  one  of  the 
strongest  bulwarks  of  the  Ottoman  Empire.  This 
information  produced  a  different  effect  upon  AH  to 
that  intended  by  the  Seraskier.  Passing  suddenly 
from  the  depth  of  despondency  to  the  height  of 
pride,  he  imagined  that  these  overtures  of  reconcil- 
iation were  only  a  proof  of  the  inability  of  his  foes 
to  subdue  him,  and  he  sent  the  following  proposi- 
tions to  Kursheed  Pacha: — 

"  If  the  first  duty  of  a  prince  is  to  do  justice, 
that  of  his  subjects  is  to  remain  faithful,  and  obey 
him  in  all  things.  From  this  principle  we  derive 
that  of  rewards  and  punishments,  and  although  my 
services  might  sufficiently  justify  my  conduct  to  all 
time,  I  nevertheless  acknowledge  that  I  have  de- 
served the  wrath  of  the  sultan,  since  he  has  raised 
the  arm  of  his  anger  against  the  head  of  his  slave. 
Having  humbly  implored  his  pardon,  I  fear  not  to 
invoke  his  severity  towards  those  who  have  abused 
his  confidence.  With  this  object  I  offer — First,  to 
pay  the  expenses  of  the  war  and  the  tribute   in 



arrears  due  from  my  Government  without  delay. 
Secondly,  as  it  is  important  for  the  sake  of  example 
that  the  treason  of  an  inferior  towards  his  superior 
should  receive  fitting  chastisement,  I  demand  that 
Pacho  Bey,  formerly  in  my  service,  should  be 
beheaded,  he  being  the  real  rebel,  and  the  cause  of 
the  public  calamities  which  are  afflicting  the  faithful 
of  Islam.  Thirdly,  I  require  that  for  the  rest  of 
my  life  I  shall  retain,  without  annual  re-investiture, 
my  pachalik  of  Janina,  the  coast  of  Epirus,  Acar- 
nania  and  its  dependencies,  subject  to  the  rights, 
charges  and  tribute  due  now  and  hereafter  to  the 
sultan.  Fourthly,  I  demand  amnesty  and  oblivion 
of  the  past  for  all  those  who  have  served  me  until 
now.  And  if  these  conditions  are  not  accepted  with- 
out modifications,  I  am  prepared  to  defend  myself 
to  the  last. 

"  Given  at  the  castle  of  Janina,  March  7,  182 1." 



THIS  mixture  of  arrogance  and  submission  only 
merited  indignation,  but  it  suited  Kursheed 
to  dissemble.  He  replied  that,  assenting  to  such 
propositions  being  beyond  his  powers,  he  would 
transmit  them  to  Constantinople,  and  that  hostilities 
might  be  suspended,  if  Ali  wished,  until  the  courier 
could  return. 

Being  quite  as  cunning  as  Ali  himself,  Kursheed 
profited  by  the  truce  to  carry  on  intrigues  against 
him.  He  corrupted  one  of  the  chiefs  of  the  gar- 
rison, Metzo-Abbas  by  name,  who  obtained  pardon 
for  himself  and  fifty  followers,  with  permission  to 
return  to  their  homes.  But  this  clemency  appeared 
to  have  seduced  also  four  hundred  Skipetars  who 
made  use  of  the  amnesty  and  the  money  with  which 
Ali  provided  them,  to  raise  Toxis  and  the  Tapygetae 
in  the  latter's  favour.  Thus  the  Seraskier's  scheme 
turned  against  himself,  and  he  perceived  he  had 
been  deceived  by  Ali's  seeming  apathy,  which  cer- 
tainly did  not  mean  dread  of  defection.  In  fact, 
no  man  worth  anything  could  have  abandoned  him, 
supported  as  he  seemed  to  be  by  almost  supernatural 



courage.  Suffering  from  a  violent  attack  of  gout, 
a  malady  he  had  never  before  experienced,  the 
pacha,  at  the  age  of  eighty-one,  was  daily  carried 
to  the  most  exposed  place  on  the  ramparts  of  his 
castle.  There,  facing  the  hostile  batteries,  he  gave 
audience  to  whoever  wished  to  see  him.  On  this 
exposed  platform  he  held  his  councils,  despatched 
orders,  and  indicated  to  what  points  his  guns  should 
be  directed.  Illumined  by  the  flashes  of  fire,  his 
figure  assumed  fantastic  and  weird  shapes.  The 
balls  sung  in  the  air,  the  bullets  hailed  around  him, 
the  noise  drew  blood  from  the  ears  of  those  with 
him.  Calm  and  immovable,  he  gave  signals  to  the 
soldiers  who  were  still  occupying  part  of  the  ruins 
of  Janina,  and  encouraged  them  by  voice  and  ges- 
ture. Observing  the  enemy's  movements  by  the 
help  of  a  telescope,  he  improvised  means  of  counter- 
acting them.  Sometimes  he  amused  himself  by 
greeting  curious  persons  and  new-comers  after  a 
fashion  of  his  own.  Thus,  the  chancellor  of  the 
French  Consul  at  Prevesa,  sent  as  an  envoy  to  Kur- 
sheed  Pacha,  had  scarcely  entered  the  lodging 
assigned  to  him,  when  he  was  visited  by  a  bomb 
which  caused  him  to  leave  it  again  with  all  haste. 
This  greeting  was  due  to  Ali's  chief  engineer,  Car- 
etto,  who  next  day  sent  a  whole  shower  of  balls 
and  shells  into  the  midst  of  a  group  of  Frenchmen, 
whose  curiosity  had  brought  them  to  Tika,  where 



Kursheed  was  forming  a  battery.  "  It  is  time," 
said  Ali,  "  that  these  contemptible  gossip-mongers 
should  find  listening  at  doors  may  become  uncom- 
fortable. I  have  furnished  matter  enough  for  them 
to  talk  about.  Frangistan  (Christendom)  shall 
henceforth  hear  only  of  my  triumph  or  my  fall, 
which  will  leave  it  considerable  trouble  to  pacify." 
Then,  after  a  moment's  silence,  he  ordered  the  pub- 
lic criers  to  inform  his  soldiers  of  the  insurrections 
in  Wallachia  and  the  Morea,  which  news,  pro- 
claimed from  the  ramparts,  and  spreading  imme- 
diately in  the  Imperial  camp,  caused  there  much 

The  Greeks  were  now  everywhere  proclaiming 
their  independence,  and  Kursheed  found  himself 
unexpectedly  surrounded  by  enemies.  His  position 
threatened  to  become  worse  if  the  siege  of  Janina 
dragged  on  much  longer.  He  seized  the  island  in 
the  middle  of  the  lake,  and  threw  up  redoubts  upon 
it,  whence  he  kept  up  an  incessant  fire  on  the  south- 
ern front  of  the  castle  of  Litharitza,  and  a  prac- 
ticable trench  of  nearly  forty  feet  having  been  made, 
an  assault  was  decided  on.  The  troops  marched 
out  boldly,  and  performed  prodigies  of  valour;  but 
at  the  end  of  an  hour,  Ali,  carried  on  a  litter  because 
of  his  gout,  having  led  a  sortie,  the  besiegers  were 
compelled  to  give  way  and  retire  to  their  intrench- 
ments,  leaving  three  hundred  dead  at  the  foot  of 



the  rampart.  "  The  Pindian  bear  is  yet  alive,"  said 
Ali  in  a  message  to  Kursheed ;  "  thou  mayest  take 
thy  dead  and  bury  them;  I  give  them  up  without 
ransom,  and  as  I  shall  always  do  when  thou  attack- 
est  me  as  a  brave  man  ought."  Then,  having  en- 
tered his  fortress  amid  the  acclamations  of  his  sol- 
diers, he  remarked  on  hearing  of  the  general  rising 
of  Greece  and  the  Archipelago,  "  It  is  enough!  two 
men  have  ruined  Turkey!  "  He  then  remained  silent, 
and  vouchsafed  no  explanation  of  this  prophetic 

Ali  did  not  on  this  occasion  manifest  his  usual 
delight  on  having  gained  a  success.  As  soon  as  he 
was  alone  with  Basilissa,  he  informed  her  with 
tears  of  the  death  of  Chainitza.  A  sudden  apoplexy 
had  stricken  this  beloved  sister,  the  life  of  his  coun- 
cils, in  her  palace  of  Libokovo,  where  she  remained 
undisturbed  until  her  death.  She  owed  this  special 
favour  to  her  riches  and  to  the  intercession  of  her 
nephew,  Djiladin  Pacha  of  Ochcrida,  who  was 
reserved  by  fate  to  perform  the  funeral  obsequies 
of  the  guilty  race  of  Tepelen. 

A  few  months  afterwards,  Ibrahim  Pacha  of 
Berat  died  of  poison,  being  the  last  victim  whom 
Cha'initza  had  demanded  from  her  brother. 

Ali's  position  was  becoming  daily  more  difficult, 
when  the  time  of  Ramadan  arrived,  during  which 
the  Turks  relax  hostilities,  and  a  species  of  truce 



ensued.  AH  himself  appeared  to  respect  the  old 
popular  customs,  and  allowed  his  Mohammedan 
soldiers  to  visit  the  enemy's  outposts  and  confer  on 
the  subject  of  various  religious  ceremonies.  Dis- 
cipline was  relaxed  in  Kursheed's  camp,  and  AH 
profited  thereby  to  ascertain  the  smallest  details  of 
all  that  passed. 

He  learned  from  his  spies  that  the  general's  staff, 
counting  on  the  "  Truce  of  God,"  a  tacit  suspension 
of  all  hostilities  during  the  feast  of  Bairam,  the 
Mohammedan  Easter,  intended  to  repair  to  the  chief 
mosque,  in  the  quarter  of  Loutcha.  This  building, 
spared  by  the  bombs,  had  until  now  been  respected 
by  both  sides.  Ali,  according  to  reports  spread  by 
himself,  was  supposed  to  be  ill,  weakened  by  fast- 
ing, and  terrified  into  a  renewal  of  devotion,  and 
not  likely  to  give  trouble  on  so  sacred  a  day.  Never- 
theless he  ordered  Caretto  to  turn  thirty  guns 
against  the  mosque,  cannon,  mortars  and  howitzers, 
intending,  he  said,  to  solemnise  Bairam  by  dis- 
charges of  artillery.  As  soon  as  he  was  sure  that 
the  whole  of  the  staff  had  entered  the  mosque,  he 
gave  the  signal. 

Instantly,  from  the  assembled  thirty  pieces,  there 
issued  a  storm  of  shells,  grenades  and  cannon-balls. 
With  a  terrific  noise,  the  mosque  crumbled  together, 
amid  the  cries  of  pain  and  rage  of  the  crowd  inside 
crushed  in  the  ruins.     At  the  end  of  a  quarter  of 



an  hour  the  wind  dispersed  the  smoke,  and  dis- 
closed a  burning  crater,  with  the  large  cypresses 
which  surrounded  the  building  blazing  as  if  they 
had  been  torches  lighted  for  the  funeral  ceremonies 
of  sixty  captains  and  two  hundred  soldiers. 

"Ali  Pacha  is  yet  alive!  "  cried  the  old  Homeric 
hero  of  Janina,  leaping  with  joy;  and  his  words, 
passing  from  mouth  to  mouth,  spread  yet  more  ter- 
ror amid  Kursheed's  soldiers,  already  overwhelmed 
by  the  horrible  spectacle  passing  before  their  eyes. 

Almost  on  the  same  day,  Ali  from  the  height  of 
his  keep  beheld  the  standard  of  the  Cross  waving 
in  the  distance.  The  rebellious  Greeks  were  bent 
on  attacking  Kursheed.  The  insurrection  promoted 
by  the  Vizier  of  Janina  had  passed  far  beyond  the 
point  he  intended,  and  the  rising  had  become  a  rev- 
olution. The  delight  which  Ali  first  evinced  cooled 
rapidly  before  this  consideration,  and  was  extin- 
guished in  grief  when  he  found  that  a  conflagration, 
caused  by  the  besiegers'  fire,  had  consumed  part  of 
his  store  in  the  castle  by  the  lake.  Kursheed,  think- 
ing that  this  event  must  have  shaken  the  old  lion's 
resolution,  recommenced  negotiations,  choosing  the 
Kiaia  of  Moustai  Pacha  as  an  envoy,  who  gave  Ali 
a  remarkable  warning.  "  Reflect,"  said  he,  "  that 
these  rebels  bear  the  sign  of  the  Cross  on  their 
standards.  You  are  now  only  an  instrument  in  their 
hands.     Beware  lest  you  become  the  victim  of  their 



policy."  Ali  understood  the  danger,  and  had  the 
sultan  been  better  advised,  he  would  have  pardoned 
Ali  on  condition  of  again  bringing  Hellas  under 
his  iron  yoke.  It  is  possible  that  the  Greeks  might 
not  have  prevailed  against  an  enemy  so  formidable 
and  a  brain  so  fertile  in  intrigue.  But  so  simple  an 
idea  was  far  beyond  the  united  intellect  of  the 
Divan,  which  never  rose  above  idle  display.  As 
soon  as  these  negotiations  had  commenced,  Kur- 
sheed  filled  the  roads  with  his  couriers,  sending 
often  two  in  a  day  to  Constantinople,  from  whence 
as  many  were  sent  to  him.  This  state  of  things 
lasted  more  than  three  weeks,  when  it  became  known 
that  Ali,  who  had  made  good  use  of  his  time  in  re- 
placing the  stores  lost  in  the  conflagration,  buying 
actually  from  the  Kiaia  himself  a  part  of  the  pro- 
visions brought  by  him  for  the  Imperial  camp, 
refused  to  accept  the  Ottoman  ultimatum.  Troubles 
which  broke  out  at  the  moment  of  the  rupture  of 
the  negotiations  proved  that  he  foresaw  the  probable 

Kursheed  was  recompensed  for  the  deception  by 
which  he  had  been  duped  by  the  reduction  of  the 
fortress  of  Litharitza.  The  Guegue  Skipetars,  who 
composed  the  garrison,  badly  paid,  wearied  out  by 
the  long  siege,  and  won  by  the  Seraskier's  bribes, 
took  advantage  of  the  fact  that  the  time  of  their 
engagement  with  Ali  had  elapsed  some  months  pre- 


viously,  and  delivering  up  the  fortress  they  de- 
fended, passed  over  to  the  enemy.  Henceforth  Ali's 
force  consisted  of  only  six  hundred  men. 

It  was  to  be  feared  that  this  handful  of  men 
might  also  become  a  prey  to  discouragement,  and 
might  surrender  their  chief  to  an  enemy  who  had 
received  all  fugitives  with  kindness.  The  Greek 
insurgents  dreaded  such  an  event,  which  would  have 
turned  all  Kursheed's  army,  hitherto  detained  before 
the  castle  of  Janina,  loose  upon  themselves.  There- 
fore they  hastened  to  send  to  their  former  enemy, 
now  their  ally,  assistance  which  he  declined  to 
accept.  Ali  saw  himself  surrounded  by  enemies 
thirsting  for  his  wealth,  and  his  avarice  increasing 
with  the  danger,  he  had  for  some  months  past 
refused  to  pay  his  defenders.  He  contented  him- 
self with  informing  his  captains  of  the  insurgents' 
offer,  and  telling  them  that  he  was  confident  that 
bravery  such  as  theirs  required  no  reinforcement. 
And  when  some  of  them  besought  him  to  at  least 
receive  two  or  three  hundred  Palikars  into  the 
castle,  "  No,"  said  he;  "  old  serpents  always  remain 
old  serpents :  I  distrust  the  Suliots  and  their  friend- 

Ignorant  of  Ali's  decision,  the  Greeks  of  the 
Selleid  were  advancing,  as  well  as  the  Toxidse, 
towards  Janina,  when  they  received  the  following 
letter  from  Ali  Pacha: — 



"  My  well-beloved  children,  I  have  just  learned 
that  you  are  preparing  to  despatch  a  party  of  your 
Palikars  against  our  common  enemy,  Kursheed.  I 
desire  to  inform  you  that  this  my  fortress  is  im- 
pregnable, and  that  I  can  hold  out  against  him  for 
several  years.  The  only  service  I  require  of  your 
courage  is,  that  you  should  reduce  Arta,  and  take 
alive  Ismail  Pacho  Bey,  my  former  servant,  the 
mortal  enemy  of  my  family,  and  the  author  of  the 
evils  and  frightful  calamities  which  have  so  long 
oppressed  our  unhappy  country,  which  he  has  laid 
waste  before  our  eyes.  Use  your  best  efforts  to 
accomplish  this,  it  will  strike  at  the  root  of  the  evil, 
and  my  treasures  shall  reward  your  Palikars,  whose 
courage  every  day  gains  a  higher  value  in  my  eyes." 

Furious  at  this  mystification,  the  Suliots  retired 
to  their  mountains,  and  Kursheed  profited  by  the 
discontent  Ali's  conduct  had  caused,  to  win  over  the 
Toxide  Skipetars,  with  their  commanders  Tahir 
Abbas  and  Hagi  Bessiaris,  who  only  made  two  con- 
ditions: one,  that  Ismail  Pacho  Bey,  their  personal 
enemy,  should  be  deposed;  the  other,  that  the  life 
of  their  old  vizier  should  be  respected. 

The  first  condition  was  faithfully  adhered  to  by 
Kursheed,.  actuated  by  private  motives  different 
from  those  which  he  gave  publicly,  and  Ismail  Pacho 
Bey  was  solemnly  deposed.     The  tails,  emblems  of 



his  authority,  were  removed ;  he  resigned  the  plumes 
of  office;  his  soldiers  forsook  him,  his  servants  fol- 
lowed suit.  Fallen  to  the  lowest  rank,  he  was  soon 
thrown  into  prison,  where  he  only  blamed  Fate  for 
his  misfortunes.  All  the  Skipetar  Agas  hastened 
to  place  themselves  under  Kursheeds'  standard,  and 
enormous  forces  now  threatened  Janina.  All  Epirus 
awaited  the  denoument  with  anxiety. 

Had  he  been  less  avaricious,  AH  might  have  en- 
listed all  the  adventurers  with  whom  the  East  was 
swarming,  and  made  the  sultan  tremble  in  his  capi- 
tal. But  the  aged  pacha  clung  passionately  to  his 
treasures.  He  feared  also,  perhaps  not  unreason- 
ably, that  those  by  whose  aid  he  might  triumph 
would  some  day  become  his  master.  He  long 
deceived  himself  with  the  idea  that  the  English, 
who  had  sold  Parga  to  him,  would  never  allow  a 
Turkish  fleet  to  enter  the  Ionian  Sea.  Mistaken  on 
this  point,  his  foresight  was  equally  at  fault  with 
regard  to  the  cowardice  of  his  sons.  The  defection 
of  his  troops  was  not  less  fatal,  and  he  only  under- 
stood the  bearing  of  the  Greek  insurrection  which 
he  himself  had  provoked,  so  far  as  to  see  that  in  this 
struggle  he  was  merely  an  instrument  in  procuring 
the  freedom  of  a  country  which  he  had  too  cruelly 
oppressed  to  be  able  to  hold  even  an  inferior  rank 
in  it.  His  last  letter  to  the  Suliots  opened  the  eyes 
of  his  followers,  but  under  the  influence  of  a  sort  of 



polite  modesty  these  were  at  least  anxious  to  stip- 
ulate for  the  life  of  their  vizier.  Kursheed  was 
obliged  to  produce  firmans  from  the  Porte,  declar- 
ing that  if  Ali  Tepelen  submitted,  the  royal  promise 
given  to  his  sons  should  be  kept,  and  that  he  should, 
with  them,  be  transferred  to  Asia  Minor,  as  also 
his  harem,  his  servants,  and  his  treasures,  and 
allowed  to  finish  his  days  in  peace.  Letters  from 
Ali's  sons  were  shown  to  the  Agas,  testifying  to  the 
good  treatment  they  had  experienced  in  their  exile ; 
and  whether  the  latter  believed  all  this,  or  whether 
they  merely  sought  to  satisfy  their  own  consciences, 
they  henceforth  thought  only  of  inducing  their 
rebellious  chief  to  submit.  Finally,  eight  months' 
pay,  given  them  in  advance,  proved  decisive,  and 
they  frankly  embraced  the  cause  of  the  sultan. 

The  garrison  of  the  castle  on  the  lake,  whom  Ali 
seemed  anxious  to  offend  as  much  as  possible,  by 
refusing  their  pay,  he  thinking  them  so  compro- 
mised that  they  would  not  venture  even  to  accept  an 
amnesty  guaranteed  by  the  mufti,  began  to  desert 
as  soon  as  they  knew  the  Toxid?e  had  arrived  at  the 
Imperial  camp.  Every  night  these  Skipetars  who 
could  cross  the  moat  betook  themselves  to  Kur- 
sheed's  quarters.  One  single  man  yet  baffled  all  the 
efforts  of  the  besiegers.  The  chief  engineer,  Car- 
etto,  like  another  Archimedes,  still  carried  terror 
into  the  midst  of  their  camp. 


Although  reduced  to  the  direst  misery,  Caretto 
could  not  forget  that  he  owed  his  life  to  the  master 
who  now  only  repaid  his  services  with  the  most 
sordid  ingratitude.  When  he  had  first  come  to 
Epirus,  Ali,  recognising  his  ability,  became  anxious 
to  retain  him,  but  without  incurring  any  expense. 
He  ascertained  that  the  Neapolitan  was  passionately 
in  love  with  a  Mohammedan  girl  named  Nekibi, 
who  returned  his  affection.  Acting  under  Ali's 
orders,  Tahir  Abbas  accused  the  woman  before  the 
cadi  of  sacrilegious  intercourse  with  an  infidel.  She 
could  only  escape  death  by  the  apostasy  of  her 
lover;  if  he  refused  to  deny  his  God,  he  shared  her 
fate,  and  both  would  perish  at  the  stake.  Caretto 
refused  to  renounce  his  religion,  but  only  Nekibi 
suffered  death.  Caretto  was  withdrawn  from  exe- 
cution, and  Ali  kept  him  concealed  in  a  place  of 
safety,  whence  he  produced  him  in  the  time  of  need. 
No  one  had  served  him  with  greater  zeal ;  it  is  even 
possible  that  a  man  of  this  type  would  have  died 
at  his  post,  had  his  cup  not  been  filled  with  morti- 
fication and  insult. 

Eluding  the  vigilance  of  Athanasius  Vaya,  whose 
charge  it  was  to  keep  guard  over  him,  Caretto  let 
himself  down  by  a  cord  fastened  to  the  end  of  a 
cannon.  He  fell  at  the  foot  of  the  rampart,  and 
thence  dragged  himself,  with  a  broken  arm,  to  the 
opposite    camp.       He    had    become    nearly    blind 



through  the  explosion  of  a  cartridge  which  had 
burnt  his  face.  He  was  received  as  well  as  a  Chris- 
tian from  whom  there  was  now  nothing  to  fear, 
could  expect.  He  received  the  bread  of  charity, 
and  as  a  refugee  is  only  valued  in  proportion  to  the 
use  which  can  be  made  of  him,  he  was  despised  and 

The  desertion  of  Caretto  was  soon  followed  by  a 
defection  which  annihilated  All's  last  hopes.  The 
garrison  which  had  given  him  so  many  proofs  of 
devotion,  discouraged  by  his  avarice,  suffering  from 
a  disastrous  epidemic,  and  no  longer  equal  to  the 
necessary  labour  in  defence  of  the  place,  opened  all 
the  gates  simultaneously  to  the  enemy.  But  the 
besiegers,  fearing  a  trap,  advanced  very  slowly;  so 
that  Ali,  who  had  long  prepared  against  every  sort 
of  surprise,  had  time  to  gain  a  place  which  he  called 
his  "  refuge." 

It  was  a  sort  of  fortified  enclosure,  of  solid 
masonry,  bristling  with  cannon,  which  surrounded 
the  private  apartments  of  his  seraglio,  called  the 
"  Women's  Tower."  He  had  taken  care  to  demolish 
everything  which  could  be  set  on  fire,  reserving  only 
a  mosque  and  the  tomb  of  his  wife  Emineh,  whose 
phantom,  after  announcing  an  eternal  repose,  had 
ceased  to  haunt  him.  Beneath  was  an  immense  nat- 
ural cave,  in  which  he  had  stored  ammunition, 
precious  articles,  provisions,  and  the  treasures  which 



had  not  been  sunk  in  the  lake.  In  this  cave  an 
apartment  had  been  made  for  Basilissa  and  his 
harem,  also  a  shelter  in  which  he  retired  to  sleep 
when  exhausted  with  fatigue.  This  place  was  his 
last  resort,  a  kind  of  mausoleum;  and  he  did  not 
seem  distressed  at  beholding  the  castle  in  the  hands 
of  his  enemies.  He  calmly  allowed  them  to  occupy 
the  entrance,  deliver  their  hostages,  overrun  the 
ramparts,  count  the  cannon  which  were  on  the  plat- 
forms, crumbling  from  the  hostile  shells;  but  when 
they  came  within  hearing,  he  demanded  by  one  of 
his  servants  that  Kursheed  should  send  him  an 
envoy  of  distinction ;  meanwhile  he  forbade  anyone 
to  pass  beyond  a  certain  place  which  he  pointed  out. 

Kursheed,  imagining  that,  being  in  the  last  ex- 
tremity, he  would  capitulate,  sent  out  Tahir  Abbas 
and  Hagi  Bessiaris.  Ali  listened  without  reproach- 
ing them  for  their  treachery,  but  simply  observed 
that  he  wished  to  meet  some  of  the  chief  officers. 

The  Seraskier  then  deputed  his  keeper  of  the 
wardrobe,  accompanied  by  his  keeper  of  the  seals  and 
other  persons  of  quality.  Ali  received  them  with 
all  ceremony,  and,  after  the  usual  compliments  had 
been  exchanged,  invited  them  to  descend  with  him 
into  the  cavern.  There  he  showed  them  more  than 
two  thousand  barrels  of  powder  carefully  arranged 
beneath  his  treasures,  his  remaining  provisions,  and 
a  number  of  valuable  objects  which  adorned  this 



slumbering  volcano.  He  showed  them  also  his  bed- 
room, a  sort  of  cell  richly  furnished,  and  close  to  the 
powder.  It  could  be  reached  only  by  means  of 
three  doors,  the  secret  of  which  was  known  to  no 
one  but  himself.  Alongside  of  this  was  the  harem, 
and  in  the  neighbouring  mosque  was  quartered  his 
garrison,  consisting  of  fifty  men,  all  ready  to  bury 
themselves  under  the  ruins  of  this  fortification,  the 
only  spot  remaining  to  him  of  all  Greece,  which 
had  formerly  bent  beneath  his  authority. 

After  this  exhibition.  Ali  presented  one  of  his 
most  devoted  followers  to  the  envoys.  Selim,  who 
watched  over  the  fire,  was  a  youth  in  appearance  as 
gentle  as  his  heart  was  intrepid,  and  his  special  duty 
was  to  be  in  readiness  to  blow  up  the  whole  place  at 
any  moment.  The  pacha  gave  him  his  hand  to  kiss, 
inquiring  if  he  were  ready  to  die,  to  which  he  only 
responded  by  pressing  his  master's  hand  fervently 
to  his  lips.  He  never  took  his  eyes  off  Ali,  and  the 
lantern,  near  which  a  match  was  constantly  smok- 
ing, was  entrusted  only  to  him  and  to  Ali,  who 
took  turns  with  him  in  watching  it.  Ali  drew  a 
pistol  from  his  belt,  making  as  if  to  turn  it  towards 
the  powder  magazine,  and  the  envoys  fell  at  his  feet, 
uttering  involuntary  cries  of  terror.  He  smiled  at 
their  fears,  and  assured  them  that,  being  wearied  of 
the  weight  of  his  weapons,  he  had  only  intended  to 
relieve  himself  of  some  of  them.     He  then  begged 



them  to  seat  themselves,  and  added  that  he  should 
like  even  a  more  terrible  funeral  than  that  which 
they  had  just  ascribed  to  him.  "  I  do  not  wish  to 
drag  down  with  me,"  he  exclaimed,  "  those  who 
have  come  to  visit  me  as  friends;  it  is  Kursheed, 
whom  I  have  long  regarded  as  my  brother,  his 
chiefs,  those  who  have  betrayed  me,  his  whole  army 
in  short,  whom  I  desire  to  follow  me  to  the  tomb — 
a  sacrifice  which  will  be  worthy  of  my  renown,  and 
of  the  brilliant  end  to  which  I  aspire." 

The  envoys  gazed  at  him  with  stupefaction,  which 
did  not  diminish  when  Ali  further  informed  them 
that  they  were  not  only  sitting  over  the  arch  of  a 
casemate  filled  with  two  hundred  thousand  pounds 
of  powder,  but  that  the  whole  castle,  which  they 
had  so  rashly  occupied,  was  undermined.  "  The 
rest  you  have  seen,"  he  said,  "  but  of  this  you  could 
not  be  aware.  My  riches  are  the  sole  cause  of  the 
war  which  has  been  made  against  me,  and  in  one 
moment  I  can  destroy  them.  Life  is  nothing  to 
me,  I  might  have  ended  it  among  the  Greeks,  but 
could  I,  a  powerless  old  man,  resolve  to  live  on 
terms  of  equality  among  those  whose  absolute  mas- 
ter I  have  been?  Thus,  whichever  way  I  look,  my 
career  is  ended.  However,  I  am  attached  to  those 
who  still  surround  me,  so  hear  my  last  resolve.  Let 
a  pardon,  sealed  by  the  sultan's  hands,  be  given  me, 
and  I  will  submit.     I  will  go  to  Constantinople,  to 



Asia  Minor,  or  wherever  I  am  sent.  The  things  I 
should  see  here  would  no  longer  be  fitting  for  me  to 

To  this  Kursheed's  envoys  made  answer  that 
without  doubt  these  terms  would  be  conceded.  AH 
then  touched  his  breast  and  forehead,  and,  drawing 
forth  his  watch,  presented  it  to  the  keeper  of  the 
wardrobe.  "  I  mean  what  I  say,  my  friend,"  he 
observed;  "my  word  will  be  kept.  If  within  an 
hour  thy  soldiers  are  not  withdrawn  from  this  castle 
which  has  been  treacherously  yielded  to  them,  I  will 
blow  it  up.  Return  to  the  Seraskier,  warn  him  that 
if  he  allows  one  minute  more  to  elapse  than  the  time 
specified,  his  army,  his  garrison,  I  myself  and  my 
famliy,  will  all  perish  together :  two  hundred  thou- 
sand pounds  of  powder  can  destroy  all  that  sur- 
rounds us.  Take  this  watch,  I  give  it  thee,  and 
forget  not  that  I  am  a  man  of  my  word."  Then, 
dismissing  the  messengers,  he  saluted  them  gra- 
ciously, observing  that  he  did  not  expect  an  answer 
until  the  soldiers  should  have  evacuated  the  castle. 

The  envoys  had  barely  returned  to  the  camp  when 
Kursheed  sent  orders  to  abandon  the  fortress.  As 
the  reason  for  this  step  could  not  be  concealed, 
everyone,  exaggerating  the  danger,  imagined  deadly 
mines  ready  to  be  fired  everywhere,  and  the  whole 
army  clamoured  to  break  up  the  camp.  Thus  AH 
and  his  fifty  followers  cast  terror  into  the  hearts 



of  nearly  thirty  thousand  men,  crowded  together 
on  the  slopes  of  Janina.  Every  sound,  every  whiff 
of  smoke,  ascending  from  near  the  castle,  became  a 
subject  of  alarm  for  the  besiegers.  And  as  the 
besieged  had  provisions  for  a  long  time,  Kursheed 
saw  little  chance  of  successfully  ending  his  enter- 
prise; when  Ali's  demand  for  pardon  occurred  to 
him.  Without  stating  his  real  plans,  he  proposed 
to  his  Council  to  unite  in  signing  a  petition  to  the 
Divan  for  Ali's  pardon. 

This  deed,  formally  executed,  and  bearing  more 
than  sixty  signatures,  was  then  shown  to  Ali,  who 
was  greatly  delighted.  He  was  described  in  it  as 
Vizier,  as  Aulic  Councillor,  and  also  as  the  most 
distinguished  veteran  among  His  Highness  the  Sul- 
tan's slaves.  He  sent  rich  presents  to  Kursheed 
and  the  principal  officers,  whom  he  hoped  to  cor- 
rupt, and  breathed  as  though  the  storm  had  passed 
away.  The  following  night,  however,  he  heard 
the  voice  of  Emineh,  calling  him  several  times,  and 
concluded  that  his  end  drew  nigh. 

During  the  two  next  nights  he  again  thought 
he  heard  Emineh's  voice,  and  sleep  forsook  his  pil- 
low, his  countenance  altered,  and  his  endurance 
appeared  to  be  giving  way.  Leaning  on  a  long 
Malacca  cane,  he  repaired  at  early  dawn  to  Emineh's 
tomb,  on  which  he  offered  a  sacrifice  of  two  spotted 
lambs,  sent  him  by  Tahir  Abbas,  whom  in  return 



he  consented  to  pardon,  and  the  letters  he  received 
appeared  to  mitigate  his  trouble.  Some  days  later, 
he  saw  the  keeper  of  the  wardrobe,  who  encouraged 
him,  saying  that  before  long  there  would  be  good 
news  from  Constaninople.  Ali  learned  from  him 
the  disgrace  of  Pacho  Bey,  and  of  Ismail  Pliaga, 
whom  he  detested  equally,  and  this  exercise  of 
authority,  which  was  made  to  appear  as  a  beginning 
of  satisfaction  offered  him,  completely  reassured 
him,  and  he  made  fresh  presents  to  this  officer,  who 
had  succeeded  in  inspiring  him  with  confidence. 

Whilst  awaiting  the  arrival  of  the  firman  of  par- 
don which  Ali  was  reassured  must  arrive  from  Con- 
stantinople without  fail,  the  keeper  of  the  wardrobe 
advised  him  to  seek  an  interview  with  Kursheed. 
It  was  clear  that  such  a  meeting  could  not  take 
place  in  the  undermined  castle,  and  Ali  was  there- 
fore invited  to  repair  to  the  island  in  the  lake.  The 
magnificent  pavilion,  which  he  had  constructed  there 
in  happier  days,  had  been  entirely  refurnished,  and 
it  was  proposed  that  the  conference  should  take 
place  in  this  kiosk. 

Ali  appeared  to  hesitate  at  this  proposal,  and  the 
keeper  of  the  wardrobe,  wishing  to  anticipate  his 
objections,  added  that  the  object  of  this  arrange- 
ment was,  to  prove  to  the  army,  already  aware  of 
it,  that  there  was  no  longer  any  quarrel  between  him- 
self and  the  commander-in-chief.     He  added  that 



Kursheed  would  go  to  the  conference  attended  only 
by  members  of  his  Divan,  but  that  as  it  was  natural 
an  outlawed  man  should  be  on  his  guard,  Ali  might, 
if  he  liked,  send  to  examine  the  place,  might  take 
with  him  such  guards  as  he  thought  necessary,  and 
might  even  arrange  things  on  the  same  footing  as 
in  his  citadel,  even  to  his  guardian  with  the  lighted 
match,  as  the  surest  guarantee  which  could  be  given 

The  proposition  was  accepted,  and  when  Ali,  hav- 
ing crossed  over  with  a  score  of  soldiers,  found  him- 
self more  at  large  than  he  did  in  his  casemate,  he 
congratulated  himself  on  having  come.  He  had  Bas- 
ilissa  brought  over,  also  his  diamonds,  and  several 
chests  of  money.  Two  days  passed  without  his 
thinking  of  anything  but  procuring  various  neces- 
saries, and  he  then  began  to  inquire  what  caused 
the  Seraskier  to  delay  his  visit.  The  latter  excused 
himself  on  the  plea  of  illness,  and  offered  mean- 
while to  send  anyone  Ali  might  wish  to  see,  to  visit 
him.  The  pacha  immediately  mentioned  several  of 
his  former  followers,  now  employed  in  the  Imperial 
army,  and  as  no  difficulty  was  made  in  allowing 
them  to  go,  he  profited  by  the  permission  to  inter- 
view a  large  number  of  his  old  acquaintances,  who 
united  in  reassuring  him  and  in  giving  him  great 
hopes  of  success. 

Nevertheless,  time  passed  on,  and  neither  the 


Seraskier  nor  the  firman  appeared.  AH,  at  first 
uneasy,  ended  by  rarely  mentioning  either  the  one 
or  the  other,  and  never  was  deceiver  more  completely 
deceived.  His  security  was  so  great  that  he  loudly 
congratulated  himself  on  having  come  to  the  island. 
He  had  begun  to  form  a  net  of  intrigue  to  cause 
himself  to  be  intercepted  on  the  road  when  he  should 
be  sent  to  Constantinople,  and  he  did  not  despair 
of  soon  finding  numerous  partisans  in  the  Imperial 



FOR  a  whole  week  all  seemed  going  well,  when, 
on  the  morning  of  February  5th,  Kursheed 
sent  Hassan  Pacha  to  convey  his  compliments  to 
AH,  and  announce  that  the  sultan's  firman,  so  long 
desired,  had  at  length  arrived.  Their  mutual  wishes 
had  been  heard,  but  it  was  desirable,  for  the  dignity 
of  their  sovereign,  that  Ali,  in  order  to  show  his 
gratitude  and  submission,  should  order  Selim  to 
extinguish  the  fatal  match  and  to  leave  the  cave, 
and  that  the  rest  of  the  garrison  should  first  dis- 
play the  Imperial  standard  and  then  evacuate  the 
enclosure.  Only  on  this  condition  could  Kursheed 
deliver  into  Ali's  hands  the  sultan's  decree  of 

Ali  was  alarmed,  and  his  eyes  were  at  length 
opened.  He  replied  hesitatingly,  that  on  leaving  the 
citadel  he  had  charged  Selim  to  obey  only  his  own 
verbal  order,  that  no  written  command,  even  though 
signed  and  sealed  by  himself,  would  produce  any 
effect,  and  therefore  he  desired  to  repair  himself 
to  the  castle,  in  order  to  fulfil  what  was  required. 

Thereupon  a  long  argument  ensued,  in  which 


Ali's  sagacity,  skill,  and  artifice  struggled  vainly 
against  a  decided  line  of  action.  New  protestations 
were  made  to  deceive  him,  oaths  were  even  taken 
on  the  Koran  that  no  evil  designs,  no  mental  reser- 
vations, were  entertained.  At  length,  yielding  to 
the  prayers  of  those  who  surrounded  him,  perhaps 
concluding  that  all  his  skill  could  no  longer  fight 
against  Destiny,  he  finally  gave  way. 

Drawing  a  secret  token  from  his  bosom,  he 
handed  it  to  Kursheed's  envoy,  saying,  "  Go,  show 
this  to  Selim,  and  you  will  convert  a  dragon  into 
a  lamb."  And  in  fact,  at  sight  of  the  talisman, 
Selim  prostrated  himself,  extinguished  the  match, 
— and  fell,  stabbed  to  the  heart.  At  the  same  time 
the  garrison  withdrew,  the  Imperial  standard  dis- 
played its  blazonry,  and  the  lake  castle  was  occupied 
by  the  troops  of  the  Seraskier,  who  rent  the  air  with 
their  acclamations. 

It  was  then  noon.  Ali,  in  the  island,  had  lost  all 
illusions.  His  pulse  beat  violently,  but  his  coun- 
tenance did  not  betray  his  mental  trouble.  It  was 
noticed  that  he  appeared  at  intervals  to  be  lost  in 
profound  thought,  that  he  yawned  frequently,  and 
continually  drew  his  fingers  through  his  beard.  He 
drank  coffee  and  iced  water  several  times,  inces- 
santly looked  at  his  watch,  and  taking  his  field-glass, 
surveyed  by  turns  the  camp,  the  castles  of  Janina, 
the  Pindus  range,  and  the  peaceful  waters  of  the 



lake.  Occasionally  he  glanced  at  his  weapons,  and 
then  his  eyes  sparkled  with  the  fire  of  youth  and 
of  courage.  Stationed  beside  him,  his  guards  pre- 
pared their  cartridges,  their  eyes  fixed  on  the  land- 

The  kiosk  which  he  occupied  was  connected  with 
a  wooden  structure  raised  upon  pillars,  like  the 
open-air  theatres  constructed  for  a  public  festival, 
and  the  women  occupied  the  most  remote  apart- 
ments. Everything  seemed  sad  and  silent.  The 
vizier,  according  to  custom,  sat  facing  the  doorway, 
so  as  to  be  the  first  to  perceive  any  who  might  wish 
to  enter.  At  five  o'clock  boats  were  seen  approach- 
ing the  island,  and  soon  Hassan  Pacha,  Omar 
Brionis,  Kursheed's  sword-bearer,  Mehemet,  the 
keeper  of  the  wardrobe,  and  several  officers  of  the 
army,  attended  by  a  numerous  suite,  drew  near  with 
gloomy  countenances. 

Seeing  them  approach,  Ali  sprang  up  impetu- 
ously, his  hand  upon  the  pistols  in  his  belt.  "  Stand ! 
.  .  .  what  is  it  you  bring  me?  "  he  cried  to  Hassan 
in  a  voice  of  thunder.  "  I  bring  the  commands  of 
His  Highness  the  Sultan, — knowest  thou  not  these 
august  characters?"  And  Hassan  exhibited  the 
brilliantly  gilded  frontispiece  which  decorated  the 
firman.  "  I  know  them  and  revere  them."  "  Then 
bow  before  thy  destiny ;  make  thy  ablutions ;  address 
thy  prayer  to  Allah  and  to  His  Prophet;  for  thy 



head  is  demanded.  .  .  ."  Ali  did  not  allow  him  to 
finish.  "  My  head,"  he  cried  with  fury,  "  will  not 
be  surrendered  like  the  head  of  a  slave." 

These  rapidly  pronounced  words  were  instantly 
followed  by  a  pistol-shot  which  wounded  Hassan 
in  the  thigh.  Swift  as  lightning,  a  second  killed 
the  keeper  of  the  wardrobe,  and  the  guards,  firing 
at  the  same  time,  brought  down  several  officers. 
Terrified,  the  Osmanlis  forsook  the  pavilion.  Ali, 
perceiving  blood  flowing  from  a  wound  in  his  chest, 
roared  like  a  bull  with  rage.  No  one  dared  to  face 
his  wrath,  but  shots  were  fired  at  the  kiosk  from 
all  sides,  and  four  of  his  guards  fell  dead  beside 
him.  He  no  longer  knew  which  way  to  turn,  hear- 
ing the  noise  made  by  the  assailants  under  the  plat- 
form, who  were  firing  through  the  boards  on  which 
he  stood.  A  ball  wounded  him  in  the  side,  another 
from  below  lodged  in  his  spine ;  he  staggered,  clung 
to  a  window,  then  fell  on  the  sofa.  "  Hasten,"  he 
cried  to  one  of  his  officers,  "  run,  my  friend,  and 
strangle  my  poor  Basilissa;  let  her  not  fall  a  prey 
to  these  infamous  wretches." 

The  door  opened,  all  resistance  ceased,  the  guards 
hastened  to  escape  by  the  windows.  Kursheed's 
sword-bearer  entered,  followed  by  the  executioners. 
"Let  the  justice  of  Allah  be  accomplished!  "  said 
a  cadi.  At  these  words  the  executioners  seized  Ali, 
who  was  still  alive,  by  the  beard,  and  dragged  him 



out  into  the  porch,  where,  placing  his  head  on  one 
of  the  steps,  they  separated  it  from  the  body  with 
many  blows  of  a  jagged  cutlass.  Thus  ended  the 
career  of  the  dreaded  AH  Pacha. 

His  head  still  preserved  so  terrible  and  imposing 
an  aspect  that  those  present  beheld  it  with  a  sort 
of  stupor.  Kursheed,  to  whom  it  was  presented  on 
a  large  dish  of  silver  plate,  rose  to  receive  it,  bowed 
three  times  before  it,  and  respectfully  kissed  the 
beard,  expressing  aloud  his  wish  that  he  himself 
might  deserve  a  similar  end.  To  such  an  extent  did 
the  admiration  with  which  Ali's  bravery  inspired 
these  barbarians  efface  the  memory  of  his  crimes. 
Kursheed  ordered  the  head  to  be  perfumed  with  the 
most  costly  essences,  and  despatched  to  Constan- 
tinople, and  he  allowed  the  Skipetars  to  render  the 
last  honours  to  their  former  master. 

Never  was  seen  greater  mourning  than  that  of 
the  warlike  Epirotes.  During  the  whole  night,  the 
various  Albanian  tribes  watched  by  turns  around 
the  corpse,  improvising  the  most  eloquent  funeral 
songs  in  its  honour.  At  daybreak,  the  body,  washed 
and  prepared  according  to  the  Mohammedan  ritual, 
was  deposited  in  a  coffin  draped  with  a  splendid 
Indian  Cashmere  shawl,  on  which  was  placed  a 
magnificent  turban,  adorned  with  the  plumes  Ali 
had  worn  in  battle.  The  mane  of  his  charger  was 
cut  off,  and  the  animal  covered  with  purple  hous- 



ings,  while  Ali's  shield,  his  sword,  his  numerous 
weapons,  and  various  insignia,  were  borne  on  the 
saddles  of  several  led  horses.  The  cortege  pro- 
ceeded towards  the  castle,  accompanied  by  hearty- 
imprecations  uttered  by  the  soldiers  against  the 
"  Son  of  a  Slave,"  the  epithet  bestowed  on  their 
sultan  by  the  Turks  in  seasons  of  popular  excite- 

The  Selaon-Aga,  an  officer  appointed  to  render 
the  proper  salutes,  acted  as  chief  mourner,  sur- 
rounded by  weeping  mourners,  who  made  the  ruins 
of  Janina  echo  with  their  lamentations.  The  guns 
were  fired  at  long  intervals.  The  portcullis  was 
raised  to  admit  the  procession,  and  the  whole  gar- 
rison, drawn  up  to  receive  it.  rendered  a  military 
salute.  The  body,  covered  with  matting,  was  laid 
in  a  grave  beside  that  of  Amina.  When  the  grave 
had  been  filled  in,  a  priest  approached  to  listen  to 
the  supposed  conflict  between  the  good  and  bad 
angels,  who  dispute  the  possession  of  the  soul  of 
the  deceased.  When  he  at  length  announced  that 
AH  Tepelen  Zadi  would  repose  in  peace  amid  celes- 
tial houris,  the  Skipetars,  murmuring  like  the  waves 
of  the  sea  after  a  tempest,  dispersed  to  their  quar- 

Kursheed,  profiting  by  the  night  spent  by  the 
Epirotes  in  mourning,  caused  Ali's  head  to  be  en- 
closed in  a  silver  casket,  and  despatched  it  secretly 



to  Constantinople.  His  sword-bearer  Mehemet, 
who,  having  presided  at  the  execution,  was  entrusted 
with  the  further  duty  of  presenting  it  to  the  sultan, 
was  escorted  by  three  hundred  Turkish  soldiers. 
He  was  warned  to  be  expeditious,  and  before  dawn 
was  well  out  of  reach  of  the  Arnaouts,  from  whom 
a  surprise  might  have  been  feared. 

The  Seraskier  then  ordered  the  unfortunate 
Basilissa,  whose  life  had  been  spared,  to  be  brought 
before  him.  She  threw  herself  at  his  feet,  implor- 
ing him  to  spare,  not  her  life,  but  her  honour;  and 
he  consoled  her,  and  assured  her  of  the  sultan's 
protection.  She  burst  into  tears  when  she  beheld 
Ali's  secretaries,  treasurers,  and  steward  loaded  with 
irons.  Only  sixty  thousand  purses  (about  twenty- 
five  million  piastres)  of  Ali's  treasure  could  be 
found,  and  already  his  officers  had  been  tortured, 
in  order  to  compel  them  to  disclose  where  the  rest 
might  be  concealed.  Fearing  a  similar  fate,  Basil- 
issa fell  insensible  into  the  arms  of  her  attendants, 
and  she  was  removed  to  the  farm  of  Bouila,  until 
the  Supreme  Porte  should  decide  on  her  fate. 

The  couriers  sent  in  all  directions  to  announce 
the  death  of  Ali,  having  preceded  the  sword-bearer 
Mehemet's  triumphal  procession,  the  latter,  on  ar- 
riving at  Greveno,  found  the  whole  population  of 
that  town  and  the  neighbouring  hamlets  assembled 
to  meet  him,  eager  to  behold  the  head  of  the  ter- 

7— Dumas— Vol.  7  23°9 


rible  Ali  Pacha.  Unable  to  comprehend  how  he 
could  possibly  have  succumbed,  they  could  hardly 
believe  their  eyes  when  the  head  was  withdrawn 
from  its  casket  and  displayed  before  them.  It 
remained  exposed  to  view  in  the  house  of  the  Mus- 
sulman Veli  Aga  whilst  the  escort  partook  of 
refreshment  and  changed  horses,  and  as  the  public 
curiosity  continued  to  increase  throughout  the  jour- 
ney, a  fixed  charge  was  at  length  made  for  its  grati- 
fication, and  the  head  of  the  renowned  vizier  was 
degraded  into  becoming  an  article  of  traffic  exhib- 
ited at  every  post-house,  until  it  arrived  at  Con- 

The  sight  of  this  dreaded  relic,  exposed  on  the 
23rd  of  February  at  the  gate  of  the  seraglio,  and 
the  birth  of  an  heir-presumptive  to  the  sword  of 
Othman — which  news  was  announced  simultane- 
ously with  that  of  the  death  of  Ali,  by  the  firing 
of  the  guns  of  the  seraglio — roused  the  enthusiasm 
of  the  military  inhabitants  of  Constantinople  to  a 
state  of  frenzy,  and  triumphant  shouts  greeted  the 
appearance  of  a  document  affixed  to  the  head  which 
narrated  Ali's  crimes  and  the  circumstances  of  his 
death,  ending  with  these  words :  "  This  is  the  Head 
of  the  above-named  Ali  Pacha,  a  Traitor  to  the 
Faith  of  Islam." 

Having  sent  magnificent  presents  to  Kursheed, 
and  a  hyperbolical  despatch  to  his  army,  Mahmoud 



II  turned  his  attention  to  Asia  Minor,  where  Ali's 
sons  would  probably  have  been  forgotten  in  their 
banishment,  had  it  not  been  supposed  that  their 
riches  were  great.  A  sultan  does  not  condescend  to 
mince  matters  with  his  slaves,  when  he  can  despoil 
them  with  impunity ;  His  Supreme  Highness  simply 
sent  them  his  commands  to  die.  Veli  Pacha,  a 
greater  coward  than  a  woman-slave  born  in  the 
harem,  heard  his  sentence  kneeling.  The  wretch 
who  had,  in  his  palace  at  Arta,  danced  to  the  strains 
of  a  lively  orchestra,  while  innocent  victims  were 
being  tortured  around  him,  received  the  due  reward 
of  his  crimes.  He  vainly  embraced  the  knees  of  his 
executioners,  imploring  at  least  the  favour  of  dying 
in  privacy ;  and  he  must  have  endured  the  full  bitter- 
ness of  death  in  seeing  his  sons  strangled  before 
his  eyes,  Mehemet  the  elder,  remarkable  for  his 
beauty,  and  the  gentle  Selim,  whose  merits  might 
have  procured  the  pardon  of  his  family  had  not 
Fate  ordained  otherwise.  After  next  beholding  the 
execution  of  his  brother,  Salik  Pacha,  Ali's  best- 
loved  son,  whom  a  Georgian  slave  had  borne  to  him 
in  his  old  age,  Veli,  weeping,  yielded  his  guilty  head 
to  the  executioners. 

His  women  were  then  seized,  and  the  unhappy 
Zobeide,  whose  scandalous  story  had  even  reached 
Constantinople,  sewn  up  in  a  leather  sack,  was  flung 
into  the  Pursak — a  river  whose  waters  mingle  with 



those  of  the  Sagaris.  Katherin,  Veli's  other  wife, 
and  his  daughters  by  various  mothers,  were  dragged 
to  the  bazaar  and  sold  ignominiously  to  Turcoman 
shepherds,  after  which  the  executioners  at  once  pro- 
ceeded to  make  an  inventory  of  the  spoils  of  their 

But  the  inheritance  of  Mouktar  Pacha  was  not 
quite  such  an  easy  prey.  The  kapidgi-bachi  who 
dared  to  present  him  with  the  bowstring  was  in- 
stantly laid  dead  at  his  feet  by  a  pistol-shot. 
"  Wretch !  "  cried  Mouktar,  roaring  like  a  bull 
escaped  from  the  butcher,  "  dost  thou  think  an  Arna- 
out  dies  like  an  eunuch?  I  also  am  a  Tepelenian! 
To  arms,  comrades!  they  would  slay  us!"  As  he 
spoke,  he  rushed,  sword  in  hand,  upon  the  Turks, 
and  driving  them  back,  succeeded  in  barricading 
himself  in  his  apartments. 

Presently  a  troop  of  janissaries  from  Koutaieh, 
ordered  to  be  in  readiness,  advanced,  hauling  up 
cannon,  and  a  stubborn  combat  began.  Mouktar's 
frail  defences  were  soon  in  splinters.  The  vener- 
able Metche-Bono,  father  of  Elmas  Bey,  faithful  to 
the  end,  was  killed  by  a  bullet ;  and  Mouktar,  having 
slain  a  host  of  enemies  with  his  own  hand  and  seen 
all  his  friends  perish,  himself  riddled  with  wounds, 
set  fire  to  the  powder  magazine,  and  died,  leaving  as 
inheritance  for  the  sultan  only  a  heap  of  smoking 
ruins.     An  enviable  fate,  if  compared  with  that  of 



his  father  and  brothers,  who  died  by  the  hand  of  the 

The  heads  of  Ali's  children,  sent  to  Constantinople 
and  exposed  at  the  gate  of  the  seraglio,  astonished 
the  gaping  multitude.  The  sultan  himself,  struck 
with  the  beauty  of  Mehemet  and  Selim,  whose  long 
eyelashes  and  closed  eyelids  gave  them  the  appear- 
ance of  beautiful  youths  sunk  in  peaceful  slumber, 
experienced  a  feeling  of  emotion.  "  I  had  imagined 
them,"  he  said  stupidly,  "  to  be  quite  as  old  as  their 
father;"  and  he  expressed  sorrow  for  the  fate  to 
which  he  had  condemned  them. 




ABOUT  the  end  of  the  year  1639,  a  troop  of 
horsemen  arrived,  towards  midday,  in  a  little 
village  at  the  northern  extremity  of  the  province  of 
Auvergne,  from  the  direction  of  Paris.  The 
country  folk  assembled  at  the  noise,  and  found  it 
to  proceed  from  the  provost  of  the  mounted  police 
and  his  men.  The  heat  was  excessive,  the  horses 
were  bathed  in  sweat,  the  horsemen  covered  with 
dust,  and  the  party  seemed  on  its  return  from  an 
important  expedition.  A  man  left  the  escort,  and 
asked  an  old  woman  who  was  spinning  at  her  door 
if  there  was  not  an  inn  in  the  place.  The  woman 
and  her  children  showed  him  a  bush  hanging  over 
a  door  at  the  end  of  the  only  street  in  the  village, 
and  the  escort  recommenced  its  march  at  a  walk. 

There  was  noticed,  among  the  mounted  men,  a 
young  man  of  distinguished  appearance  and  richly 
dressed,  who  appeared  to  be  a  prisoner.  This  dis- 
covery redoubled  the  curiosity  of  the  villagers,  who 
followed  the  cavalcade  as  far  as  the  door  of  the 
wine-shop.  The  host  came  out,  cap  in  hand,  and 
the  provost  enquired  of  him  with  a  swaggering  air 



if  his  pothouse  was  large  enough  to  accommodate 
his  troop,  men  and  horses.  The  host  replied  that 
he  had  the  best  wine  in  the  country  to  give  to  the 
king's  servants,  and  that  it  would  be  easy  to  collect 
in  the  neighbourhood  litter  and  forage  enough  for 
their  horses.  The  provost  listened  contemptuously 
to  these  fine  promises,  gave  the  necessary  orders  as 
to  what  was  to  be  done,  and  slid  off  his  horse, 
uttering  an  oath  proceeding  from  heat  and  fatigue. 
The  horsemen  clustered  round  the  young  man :  one 
held  his  stirrup,  and  the  provost  deferentially  gave 
way  to  him  to  enter  the  inn  first.  No  more  doubt 
could  be  entertained  that  he  was  a  prisoner  of  im- 
portance, and  all  kinds  of  conjectures  were  made. 
The  men  maintained  that  he  must  be  charged  with 
a  great  crime,  otherwise  a  young  nobleman  of  his 
rank  would  never  have  been  arrested;  the  women 
argued,  on  the  contrary,  that  it  was  impossible  for 
such  a  pretty  youth  not  to  be  innocent. 

Inside  the  inn  all  was  bustle :  the  serving-lads  ran 
from  cellar  to  garret ;  the  host  swore  and  despatched 
his  servant-girls  to  the  neighbours,  and  the  hostess 
scolded  her  daugher,  flattening  her  nose  against 
the  panes  of  a  downstairs  window  to  admire  the 
handsome  youth. 

There  were  two  tables  in  the  principal  eating- 
room.  The  provost  took  possession  of  one,  leaving 
the  other  to  the  soldiers,  who  went  in  turn  to  tether 



their  horses  under  a  shed  in  the  back  yard ;  then  he 
pointed  to  a  stool  for  the  prisoner,  and  seated  him- 
self opposite  to  him,  rapping  the  table  with  his  thick 

"  Ouf !  "  he  cried,  with  a  fresh  groan  of  weari- 
ness, "  I  heartily  beg  your  pardon,  marquis,  for  the 
bad  wine  I  am  giving  you !  " 

The  young  man  smiled  gaily. 

"  The  wine  is  all  very  well,  monsieur  provost," 
said  he,  "  but  I  cannot  conceal  from  you  that  how- 
ever agreeable  your  company  is  to  me,  this  halt  is 
very  inconvenient;  I  am  in  a  hurry  to  get  through 
my  ridiculous  situation,  and  I  should  have  liked 
to  arrive  in  time  to  stop  this  affair  at  once." 

The  girl  of  the  house  was  standing  before  the 
table  with  a  pewter  pot  which  she  had  just  brought, 
and  at  these  words  she  raised  her  eyes  on  the 
prisoner,  with  a  reassured  look  which  seemed  to 
say,  "  I  was  sure  that  he  was  innocent." 

"  But,"  continued  the  marquis,  carrying  the  glass 
to  his  lips,  "  this  wine  is  not  so  bad  as  you  say, 
monsieur  provost." 

Then  turning  to  the  girl,  who  was  eyeing  his 
gloves  and  his  ruff — 

"  To  your  health,  pretty  child." 

"  Then,"  said  the  provost,  amazed  at  this  free 
and  easy  air,  "  perhaps  I  shall  have  to  beg  you  to 
excuse  your  sleeping  quarters." 



"  What !  "  exclaimed  the  marquis,  "  do  we  sleep 

"  My  lord,"  said  the  provost,  "  we  have  sixteen 
long  leagues  to  make,  our  horses  are  done  up,  and 
so  far  as  I  am  concerned  I  declare  that  I  am  no 
better  than  my  horse." 

The  marquis  knocked  on  the  table,  and  gave 
every  indication  of  being  greatly  annoyed.  The 
provost  meanwhile  puffed  and  blowed,  stretched 
out  his  big  boots,  and  mopped  his  forehead  with 
his  handkerchief.  He  was  a  portly  man,  with  a 
puffy  face,  whom  fatigue  rendered  singularly  un- 

"  Marquis,"  said  he,  "  although  your  company, 
which  affords  me  the  opportunity  of  showing  you 
some  attention,  is  very  precious  to  me,  you  cannot 
doubt  that  I  had  much  rather  enjoy  it  on  another 
footing.  If  it  be  within  your  power,  as  you  say, 
to  release  yourself  from  the  hands  of  justice,  the 
sooner  you  do  so  the  better  I  shall  be  pleased.  But 
I  beg  you  to  consider  the  state  we  are  in.  For  my 
part,  I  am  unfit  to  keep  the  saddle  another  hour,  and 
are  you  not  yourself  knocked  up  by  this  forced 
march  in  the  great  heat  ?  " 

"  True,  so  I  am,"  said  the  marquis,  letting  his 
arms  fall  by  his  side. 

"  Well,  then,  let  us  rest  here,  sup  here,  if  we  can, 
and  we  will  start  quite  fit  in  the  cool  of  the  morning." 



"  Agreed,"  replied  the  marquis;  "  but  then  let  us 
pass  the  time  in  a  becoming  manner.  I  have  two 
pistoles  left,  let  them  be  given  to  these  good  fellows 
to  drink.  It  is  only  fair  that  I  should  treat  them, 
seeing  that  I  am  the  cause  of  giving  them  so  much 

He  threw  two  pieces  of  money  on  the  table  of 
the  soldiers,  who  cried  in  chorus,  "  Long  live  M. 
the  marquis!"  The  provost  rose,  went  to  post 
sentinels,  and  then  repaired  to  the  kitchen,  where  he 
ordered  the  best  supper  that  could  be  got.  The 
men  pulled  out  dice  and  began  to  drink  and  play. 
The  marquis  hummed  an  air  in  the  middle  of  the 
room,  twirled  his  moustache,  turning  on  his  heel 
and  looking  cautiously  around ;  then  he  gently  drew 
a  purse  from  his  trousers  pocket,  and  as  the  daugh- 
ter of  the  house  was  coming  and  going,  he  threw 
his  arms  round  her  neck  as  if  to  kiss  her,  and 
whispered,  slipping  ten  louis  into  her  hand — 

"  The  key  of  the  front  door  in  my  room,  and  a 
quart  of  liquor  to  the  sentinels,  and  you  save  my 

The  girl  went  backwards  nearly  to  the  door,  and 
returning  with  an  expressive  look,  made  an  affirma- 
tive sign  with  her  hand.  The  provost  returned, 
and  two  hours  later  supper  was  served.  He  ate 
and  drank  like  a  man  more  at  home  at  table  than  in 
the  saddle.     The  marquis  plied  him  with  bumpers, 



and  sleepiness,  added  to  the  fumes  of  a  very  heady 
wine,  caused  him  to  repeat  over  and  over  again — 

"  Confound  it  all,  marquis,  I  can't  believe  you  are 
such  a  blackguard  as  they  say  you  are;  you  seem 
to  me  a  jolly  good  sort." 

The  marquis  thought  he  was  ready  to  fall  under 
the  table,  and  was  beginning  to  open  negotiations 
with  the  daughter  of  the  house,  when,  to  his  great 
disappointment,  bedtime  having  come,  the  pro- 
voking provost  called  his  sergeant,  gave  him 
instructions  in  an  undertone,  and  announced  that 
he  should  have  the  honour  of  conducting  M.  the 
marquis  to  bed,  and  that  he  should  not  go  to  bed 
himself  before  performing  this  duty.  In  fact,  he 
posted  three  of  his  men,  with  torches,  escorted  the 
prisoner  to  his  room,  and  left  him  with  many  pro- 
found bows. 

The  marquis  threw  himself  on  his  bed  without 
pulling  off  his  boots,  listening  to  a  clock  which 
struck  nine.  He  heard  the  men  come  and  go  in 
the  stables  and  in  the  yard. 

An  hour  later,  everybody  being  tired,  all  was 
perfectly  still.  The  prisoner  then  rose  softly,  and 
felt  about  on  tiptoe  on  the  chimneypiece,  on  the 
furniture,  and  even  in  his  clothes,  for  the  key 
which  he  hoped  to  find.  He  could  not  find  it.  He 
could  not  be  mistaken,  nevertheless,  in  the  tender 
interest  of  the  young  girl,  and  he  could  not  believe 



that  she  was  deceiving  him.  The  marquis's  room 
had  a  window  which  opened  upon  the  street,  and 
a  door  which  gave  access  to  a  shabby  gallery  which 
did  duty  for  a  balcony,  whence  a  staircase  ascended 
to  the  principal  rooms  of  the  house.  This  gallery 
hung  over  the  courtyard,  being  as  high  above  it  as 
the  window  was  from  the  street.  The  marquis  had 
only  to  jump  over  one  side  or  the  other :  he  hesitated 
for  some  time,  and  just  as  he  was  deciding  to  leap 
into  the  street,  at  the  risk  of  breaking  his  neck,  two 
taps  were  struck  on  the  door.  He  jumped  for  joy, 
saying  to  himself  as  he  opened,  "  I  am  saved!  "  A 
kind  of  shadow  glided  into  the  room;  the  young 
girl  trembled  from  head  to  foot,  and  could  not  say 
a  word.  The  marquis  reassured  her  with  all  sorts 
of  caresses. 

"  Ah,  sir,"  said  she,  "  I  am  dead  if  we  are 

"  Yes,"  said  the  marquis,  "  but  your  fortune  is 
made  if  you  get  me  out  of  here." 

"  God  is  my  witness  that  I  would  with  all  my 
soul,  but  I  have  such  a  bad  piece  of  news " 

She  stopped,  suffocated  with  varying  emotions. 
The  poor  girl  had  come  barefooted,  for  fear  of 
making  a  noise,  and  appeared  to  be  shivering. 

"  What  is  the  matter  ?  "  impatiently  asked  the 

"  Before  going  to  bed,"  she  continued,  "  M.  the 


provost  has  required  from  my  father  all  the  keys 
of  the  house,  and  has  made  him  take  a  great  oath 
that  there  are  no  more.  My  father  has  given  him 
all:  besides,  there  is  a  sentinel  at  every  door;  but 
they  are  very  tired;  I  have  heard  them  muttering 
and  grumbling,  and  I  have  given  them  more  wine 
than  you  told  me." 

"  They  will  sleep,"  said  the  marquis,  nowise  dis- 
couraged, "  and  they  have  already  shown  great 
respect  to  my  rank  in  not  nailing  me  up  in  this 

"  There  is  a  small  kitchen  garden,"  continued  the 
girl,  "  on  the  side  of  the  fields,  fenced  in  only  by 
a  loose  hurdle,  but " 

"  Where  is  my  horse?  " 

"  No  doubt  in  the  shed  with  the  rest." 

"  I  will  jump  into  the  yard." 

"  You  will  be  killed." 

"  So  much  the  better !  " 

"Ah!  monsieur  marquis,  what  have  you  done?" 
said  the  young  girl  with  grief. 

"  Some  foolish  things !  nothing  worth  mention- 
ing ;  but  my  head  and  my  honour  are  at  stake.  Let 
us  lose  no  time;  I  have  made  up  my  mind." 

"Stay,"  replied  the  girl,  grasping  his  arm;  "at 
the  left-hand  corner  of  the  yard  there  is  a  large  heap 
of  straw,  the  gallery  hangs  just  over  it " 

"  Bravo!  I  shall  make  less  noise,  and  do  myself 


less  mischief."  He  made  a  step  towards  the  door; 
the  girl,  hardly  knowing  what  she  was  doing,  tried 
to  detain  him ;  but  he  got  loose  from  her  and  opened 
it.  The  moon  was  shining  brightly  into  the  yard; 
he  heard  no  sound.  He  proceeded  to  the  end  of  the 
wooden  rail,  and  perceived  the  dungheap,  which 
rose  to  a  good  height :  the  girl  made  the  sign  of  the 
cross.  The  marquis  listened  once  again,  heard 
nothing,  and  mounted  the  rail.  He  was  about  to 
jump  down,  when  by  wonderful  luck  he  heard  mur- 
murings  from  a  deep  voice.  This  proceeded  from 
one  of  two  horsemen,  who  were  recommencing  their 
conversation  and  passing  between  them  a  pint  of 
wine.  The  marquis  crept  back  to  his  door,  holding 
his  breath :  the  girl  was  awaiting  him  on  the 

"  I  told  you  it  was  not  yet  time,"  said  she. 

"  Have  you  never  a  knife,"  said  the  marquis,  "  to 
cut  those  rascals'  throats  with  ?  " 

"  Wait,  I  entreat  you,  one  hour,  one  hour  only," 
murmured  the  young  girl ;  "  in  an  hour  they  will  all 
be  asleep." 

The  girl's  voice  was  so  sweet,  the  arms  which  she 
stretched  towards  him  were  full  of  such  gentle  en- 
treaty, that  the  marquis  waited,  and  at  the  end  of 
an  hour  it  was  the  young  girl's  turn  to  tell  him  to 

The  marquis  for  the  last  time  pressed  with  his 


mouth  those  lips  but  lately  so  innocent,  then  he  half 
opened  the  door,  and  heard  nothing  this  time  but 
dogs  barking  far  away  in  an  otherwise  silent  coun- 
try. He  leaned  over  the  balustrade,  and  saw  very 
plainly  a  soldier  lying  prone  on  the  straw. 

"  If  they  were  to  awake?  "  murmured  the  young 
girl  in  accents  of  anguish. 

"  They  will  not  take  me  alive,  be  assured,"  said 
the  marquis. 

"Adieu,  then,"  replied  she,  sobbing;  "may 
Heaven  preserve  you !  " 

He  bestrode  the  balustrade,  spread  himself  out 
upon  it,  and  fell  heavily  on  the  dungheap.  The 
young  girl  saw  him  run  to  the  shed,  hastily  detach 
a  horse,  pass  behind  the  stable  wall,  spur  his  horse 
in  both  flanks,  tear  across  the  kitchen  garden,  drive 
his  horse  against  the  hurdle,  knock  it  down,  clear  it, 
and  reach  the  highroad  across  the  fields. 

The  poor  girl  remained  at  the  end  of  the  gallery, 
fixing  her  eyes  on  the  sleeping  sentry,  and  ready  to 
disappear  at  the  slightest  movement.  The  noise 
made  by  spurs  on  the  pavement  and  by  the  horse  at 
the  end  of  the  courtyard  had  half  awakened  him. 
He  rose,  and  suspecting  some  surprise,  ran  to  the 
shed.  His  horse  was  no  longer  there ;  the  marquis, 
in  his  haste  to  escape,  had  taken  the  first  which  came 
to  hand,  and  this  was  the  soldier's.  Then  the  soldier 
gave  the  alarm;  his  comrades  woke  up.     They  ran 



to  the  prisoner's  room,  and  found  it  empty.  The 
provost  came  from  his  bed  in  a  dazed  condition. 
The  prisoner  had  escaped. 

Then  the  young,  girl,  pretending  to  have  been 
roused  by  the  noise,  hindered  the  preparations  by 
mislaying  the  saddlery,  impeding  the  horsemen 
instead  of  helping  them;  nevertheless,  after  a 
quarter  of  an  hour,  all  the  party  were  galloping 
along  the  road.  The  provost  swore  like  a  pagan. 
The  best  horses  led  the  way,  and  the  sentinel,  who 
rode  the  marquis's,  and  who  had  a  greater  interest 
in  catching  the  prisoner,  far  outstripped  his  com- 
panions; he  was  followed  by  the  sergeant,  equally 
well  mounted,  and  as  the  broken  fence  showed  the 
line  he  had  taken,  after  some  minutes  they  were  in 
view  of  him,  but  at  a  great  distance.  However,  the 
marquis  was  losing  ground ;  the  horse  he  had  taken 
was  the  worst  in  the  troop,  and  he  had  pressed  it  as 
hard  as  it  could  go.  Turning  in  the  saddle,  he 
saw  the  soldiers  half  a  musket-shot  off;  he  urged 
his  horse  more  and  more,  tearing  his  sides  with  his 
spurs;  but  shortly  the  beast,  completely  winded, 
foundered;  the  marquis  rolled  with  it  in  the  dust, 
but  when  rolling  over  he  caught  hold  of  the  holsters, 
which  he  found  to  contain  pistols ;  he  lay  flat  by  the 
side  of  the  horse,  as  if  he  had  fainted,  with  a  pistol 
at  full  cock  in  his  hand.  The  sentinel,  mounted  on 
a  valuable  horse,  and  more  than  two  hundred  yards 



ahead  of  his  serafile,  came  up  to  him.  In  a  moment 
the  marquis,  jumping  up  before  he  had  time  to 
resist  him,  shot  him  through  the  head ;  the  horseman 
fell,  the  marquis  jumped  up  in  his  place  without 
even  setting  foot  in  the  stirrup,  started  off  at  a 
gallop,  and  went  away  like  the  wind,  leaving  fifty 
yards  behind  him  the  non-commissioned  officer, 
dumbfounded  with  what  had  just  passed  before  his 

The  main  body  of  the  escort  galloped  up,  thinking 
that  he  was  taken;  and  the  provost  shouted  till  he 
was  hoarse,  "  Do  not  kill  him !  "  But  they  found 
only  the  sergeant,  trying  to  restore  life  to  his  man, 
whose  skull  was  shattered,  and  who  lay  dead  on  the 

As  for  the  marquis,  he  was  out  of  sight;  for, 
fearing  a  fresh  pursuit,  he  had  plunged  into  the  cross 
roads,  along  which  he  rode  a  good  hour  longer  at 
full  gallop.  When  he  felt  pretty  sure  of  having 
shaken  the  police  off  his  track,  and  that  their  bad 
horses  could  not  overtake  him,  he  determined  to 
slacken  to  recruit  his  horse;  he  was  walking  him 
along  a  hollow  lane,  when  he  saw  a  peasant  ap- 
proaching; he  asked  him  the  road  to  the  Bourbon- 
nais,  and  flung  him  a  crown.  The  man  took  the 
crown  and  pointed  out  the  road,  but  he  seemed 
hardly  to  know  what  he  was  saying,  and  stared  at 
the  marquis  in  a  strange  manner.     The  marquis 



shouted  to  him  to  get  out  of  the  way;  but  the 
peasant  remained  planted  on  the  roadside  without 
stirring  an  inch.  The  marquis  advanced  with 
threatening  looks,  and  asked  how  he  dared  to  stare 
at  him  like  that. 

"  The   reason  is,"   said  the  peasant,   "  that  you 

have "  and  he  pointed  to  his  shoulder  and  his 


The  marquis  glanced  at  his  dress,  and  saw  that 
his  coat  was  dabbled  in  blood,  which,  added  to  the 
disorder  of  his  clothes  and  the  dust  with  which  he 
was  covered,  gave  him  a  most  suspicious  aspect. 

"  I  know,"  said  he.  "  I  and  my  servant  have  been 
separated  in  a  scuffle  with  some  drunken  Germans; 
it's  only  a  tipsy  spree,  and  whether  I  have  got 
scratched,  or  whether  in  collaring  one  of  these 
fellows  I  have  drawn  some  of  his  blood,  it  all  arises 
from  the  row.  I  don't  think  I  am  hurt  a  bit."  So 
saying,  he  pretended  to  feel  all  over  his  body. 

"All  the  same,"  he  continued,  "  I  should  not  be 
sorry  to  have  a  wash;  besides,  I  am  dying 
with  thirst  and  heat,  and  my  horse  is  in  no  better 
case.  Do  you  know  where  I  can  rest  and  refresh 

The  peasant  offered  to  guide  him  to  his  own 
house,  only  a  few  yards  off.  His  wife  and  children, 
who  were  working,  respectfully  stood  aside,  and 
went   to    collect    what   was    wanted — wine,    water, 



fruit,  and  a  large  piece  of  black  bread.  The  marquis 
sponged  his  coat,  drank  a  glass  of  wine,  and  called 
the  people  of  the  house,  whom  he  questioned  in  an 
indifferent  manner.  He  once  more  informed  him- 
self of  the  different  roads  leading  into  the  Bour- 
bonnais  province,  where  he  was  going  to  visit  a 
relative;  of  the  villages,  cross  roads,  distances;  and 
finally  he  spoke  of  the  country,  the  harvest,  and 
asked  what  news  there  was. 

The  peasant  replied,  with  regard  to  this,  that  it 
was  surprising  to  hear  of  disturbances  on  the  high- 
way at  this  moment,  when  it  was  patrolled  by 
detachments  of  mounted  police,  who  had  just  made 
an  important  capture. 

"  Who  is  that?  "  asked  the  marquis. 

"  Oh,"  said  the  peasant,  "  a  nobleman  who  has 
done  a  lot  of  mischief  in  the  country." 

"  What!  a  nobleman  in  the  hands  of  justice?  " 

"Just  so;  and  he  stands  a  good  chance  of  losing 
his  head." 

"  Do  they  say  what  he  has  done?  " 

"  Shocking  things ;  horrid  things ;  everything  he 
shouldn't  do.  All  the  province  is  exasperated  with 

"  Do  you  know  him?  " 

"  No,  but  we  all  have  his  description." 

As  this  news  was  not  encouraging,  the  marquis, 
after  a  few  more  questions,  saw  to  his  horse,  patted 



him,  threw  some  more  money  to  the  peasant,  and 
disappeared  in  the  direction  pointed  out. 

The  provost  proceeded  half  a  league  farther  along 
the  road;  but  coming  to  the  conclusion  that  pursuit 
was  useless,  he  sent  one  of  his  men  to  headquarters, 
to  warn  all  the  points  of  exit  from  the  province,  and 
himself  returned  with  his  troop  to  the  place  whence 
he  had  started  in  the  morning.  The  marquis  had 
relatives  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  it  was  quite 
possible  that  he  might  seek  shelter  with  some  of 
them.  All  the  village  ran  to  meet  the  horsemen, 
who  were  obliged  to  confess  that  they  had  been  duped 
by  the  handsome  prisoner.  Different  views  were 
expressed  on  the  event,  which  gave  rise  to  much 
talking.  The  provost  entered  the  inn,  banging  his 
fist  on  the  furniture,  and  blaming  everybody  for  the 
misfortune  which  had  happened  to  him.  The 
daughter  of  the  house,  at  first  a  prey  to  the  most 
grievous  anxiety,  had  great  difficulty  in  concealing 
her  joy. 

The  provost  spread  his  papers  over  the  table,  as 
if  to  nurse  his  ill-temper. 

"  The  biggest  rascal  in  the  world !  "  he  cried ;  "  I 
ought  to  have  suspected  him.'* 

"  What  a  handsome  man  he  was ! "  said  the 

"  A  consummate  rascal !  Do  you  know  who  he 
is?    He  is  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent !  " 



"  The  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent !  "  all  cried  with 

"  Yes,  the  very  man,"  replied  the  provost ;  **  the 
Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  accused,  and  indeed  con- 
victed, of  coining  and  magic." 


"  Convicted  of  incest." 

"O  my  God!" 

"  Convicted  of  having  strangled  his  wife  to  marry 
another,  whose  husband  he  had  first  stabbed." 

"  Heaven  help  us !  "    All  crossed  themselves. 

"  Yes,  good  people,"  continued  the  furious 
provost,  "  this  is  the  nice  boy  who  has  just  escaped 
the  king's  justice!  " 

The  host's  daughter  left  the  room,  for  she  felt 
she  was  going  to  faint. 

"  But,"  said  the  host,  "  is  there  no  hope  of  catch- 
ing him  again?  " 

"  Not  the  slightest,  if  he  has  taken  the  road  to 
the  Bourbonnais;  for  I  believe  there  are  in  that 
province  noblemen  belonging  to  his  family  who  will 
not  allow  him  to  be  rearrested." 

The  fugitive  was,  indeed,  no  other  than  the 
Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  accused  of  all  the  enor- 
mous crimes  detailed  by  the  provost,  who  by  his 
audacious  flight  opened  for  himself  an  active  part 
in  the  strange  story  which  it  remains  to  relate. 

It  came  to  pass,  a  fortnight  after  these  events, 


that  a  mounted  gentleman  rang  at  the  wicket  gate 
of  the  chateau  de  Saint-Geran,  at  the  gates  of 
Moulins.  It  was  late,  and  the  servants  were  in  no 
hurry  to  open.  The  stranger  again  pulled  the  bell  in 
a  masterful  manner,  and  at  length  perceived  a  man 
running  from  the  bottom  of  the  avenue.  The  ser- 
vant peered  through  the  wicket,  and  making  out  in 
the  twilight  a  very  ill-appointed  traveller,  with  a 
crushed  hat,  dusty  clothes,  and  no  sword,  asked  him 
what  he  wanted,  receiving  a  blunt  reply  that  the 
stranger  wished  to  see  the  Count  de  Saint-Geran 
without  any  further  loss  of  time.  The  servant 
replied  that  this  was  impossible;  the  other  got  into 
a  passion. 

"  Who  are  you?  "  asked  the  man  in  livery. 

"  You  are  a  very  ceremonious  fellow!  "  cried  the 
horseman.  "  Go  and  tell  M.  de  Saint-Geran  that 
his  relative,  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  wishes 
to  see  him  at  once." 

The  servant  made  humble  apologies,  and  opened 
the  wicket  gate.  He  then  walked  before  the 
marquis,  called  other  servants,  who  came  to  help 
him  to  dismount,  and  ran  to  give  his  name  in  the 
count's  apartments.  The  latter  was  about  to  sit 
down  to  supper  when  his  relative  was  announced ;  he 
immediately  went  to  receive  the  marquis,  embraced 
him  again  and  again,  and  gave  him  the  most  friendly 
and  gracious  reception  possible.    He  wished  then  to 



take  him  into  the  dining-room  to  present  him  to  all 
the  family;  but  the  marquis  called  his  attention  to 
the  disorder  of  his  dress,  and  begged  for  a  few 
minutes'  conversation.  The  count  took  him  into 
his  dressing-room,  and  had  him  dressed  from  head 
to  foot  in  his  own  clothes,  whilst  they  talked.  The 
marquis  then  narrated  a  made-up  story  to  M.  de 
Saint-Geran  relative  to  the  accusation  brought 
against  him.  This  greatly  impressed  his  relative, 
and  gave  him  a  secure  footing  in  the  chateau. 
When  he  had  finished  dressing,  he  followed  the 
count,  who  presented  him  to  the  countess  and  the 
rest  of  the  family. 

It  will  now  be  in  place  to  state  who  the  inmates 
of  the  chateau  were,  and  to  relate  some  previous 
occurrences  to  explain  subsequent  ones. 

The  Marshal  de  Saint-Geran,  of  the  illustrious 
house  of  Guiche,  and  governor  of  the  Bourbonnais, 
had  married,  for  his  first  wife,  Anne  de  Tournon, 
by  whom  he  had  one  son,  Claude  de  la  Guiche,  and 
one  daughter,  who  married  the  Marquis  de  Bouille. 
His  wife  dying,  he  married  again  with  Suzanne  des 
Epaules,  who  had  also  been  previously  married, 
being  the  widow  of  the  Count  de  Longaunay,  by 
whom  she  had  Suzanne  de  Longaunay. 

The  marshal  and  his  wife,  Suzanne  des  Epaules, 
for  the  mutual  benefit  of  their  children  by  first 
nuptials,  determined  to  marry  them,  thus  sealing 



their  own  union  with  a  double  tie.  Claude  de 
Guiche,  the  marshal's  son,  married  Suzanne  de 

This  alliance  was  much  to  the  distaste  of  the 
Marchioness  de  Bouille,  the  marshal's  daughter, 
who  found  herself  separated  from  her  stepmother, 
and  married  to  a  man  who,  it  was  said,  gave  her 
great  cause  for  complaint,  the  greatest  being  his 
threescore  years  and  ten. 

The  contract  of  marriage  between  Claude  de  la 
Guiche  and  Suzanne  de  Longaunay  was  executed  at 
Rouen  on  the  17th  of  February  1619;  but  the  tender 
age  of  the  bridegroom,  who  was  then  but  eighteen, 
was  the  cause  of  his  taking  a  tour  in  Italy,  whence 
he  returned  after  two  years.  The  marriage  was  a 
very  happy  one  but  for  one  circumstance — it  pro- 
duced no  issue.  The  countess  could  not  endure  a 
barrenness  which  threatened  the  end  of  a  great 
name,  the  extinction  of  a  noble  race.  She  made 
vows,  pilgrimages;  she  consulted  doctors  and 
quacks ;  but  to  no  purpose. 

The  Marshal  de  Saint-Geran  died  on  the  10th  of 
December  1632,  having  the  mortification  of  having 
seen  no  descending  issue  from  the  marriage  of  his 
son.  The  latter,  now  Count  de  Saint-Geran,  suc- 
ceeded his  father  in  the  government  of  the  Bour- 
bonnais,  and  was  named  Chevalier  of  the  King's 



Meanwhile  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille  quarrelled 
with  her  old  husband  the  marquis,  separated  from 
him  after  a  scandalous  divorce,  and  came  to  live  at 
the  chateau  of  Saint-Geran,  quite  at  ease  as  to  her 
brother's  marriage,  seeing  that  in  default  of  heirs  all 
his  property  would  revert  to  her. 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  when  the  Marquis  de 
Saint-Maixent  arrived  at  the  chateau.  He  was 
young,  handsome,  very  cunning,  and  very  successful 
with  women ;  he  even  made  a  conquest  of  the  dow- 
ager Countess  de  Saint-Geran,  who  lived  there  with 
her  children.  He  soon  plainly  saw  that  he  might 
easily  enter  into  the  most  intimate  relations  with  the 
Marchioness  de  Bouille. 

The  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent's  own  fortune 
was  much  impaired  by  his  extravagance  and  by  the 
exactions  of  the  law,  or  rather,  in  plain  words,  he 
had  lost  it  all.  The  marchioness  was  heiress  pre- 
sumptive to  the  count :  he  calculated  that  she  would 
soon  lose  her  own  husband ;  in  any  case,  the  life  of 
a  septuagenarian  did  not  much  trouble  a  man  like 
the  marquis;  he  could  then  prevail  upon  the  mar- 
chioness to  marry  him,  thus  giving  him  the  com- 
mand of  the  finest  fortune  in  the  province. 

He  set  to  work  to  pay  his  court  to  her,  especially 
avoiding  anything  that  could  excite  the  slightest 
suspicion.  It  was,  however,  difficult  to  get  on  good 
terms  with  the  marchioness  without  showing  out- 



siders  what  was  going  on.  But  the  marchioness, 
already  prepossessed  by  the  agreeable  exterior  of 
M.  de  Saint-Maixent,  soon  fell  into  his  toils,  and  the 
unhappiness  of  her  marriage,  with  the  annoyances 
incidental  to  a  scandalous  case  in  the  courts,  left 
her  powerless  to  resist  his  schemes.  Nevertheless, 
they  had  but  few  opportunities  of  seeing  one 
another  alone:  the  countess  innocently  took  a  part 
in  all  their  conversations;  the  count  often  came  to 
take  the  marquis  out  hunting;  the  days  passed  in 
family  pursuits.  M.  de  Saint-Maixent  had  not  so 
far  had  an  opportunity  of  saying  what  a  discreet 
woman  ought  to  pretend  not  to  hear;  this  intrigue, 
notwithstanding  the  marquis's  impatience,  dragged 

The  countess,  as  has  been  stated,  had  for  twenty 
years  never  ceased  to  hope  that  her  prayers  would 
procure  for  her  the  grace  of  bearing  a  son  to  her 
husband.  Out  of  sheer  weariness  she  had  given 
herself  up  to  all  kinds  of  charlatans,  who  at  that 
period  were  well  received  by  people  of  rank.  On 
one  occasion  she  brought  from  Italy  a  sort  of 
astrologer,  who  as  nearly  as  possible  poisoned  her 
with  a  horrible  nostrum,  and  was  sent  back  to  his 
own  country  in  a  hurry,  thanking  his  stars  for  hav- 
ing escaped  so  cheaply.  This  procured  Madame 
de  Saint-Geran  a  severe  reprimand  from  her  con- 
fessor; and,  as  time  went  on,  she  gradually  accus- 



tomed  herself  to  the  painful  conclusion  that  she 
would  die  childless,  and  cast  herself  into  the  arms 
of  religion.  The  count,  whose  tenderness  for  her 
never  failed,  yet  clung  to  the  hope  of  an  heir,  and 
made  his  Will  with  this  in  view.  The  marchioness's 
hopes  had  become  certainties,  and  M.  de  Saint- 
Maixent,  perfectly  tranquil  on  this  head,  thought 
only  of  forwarding  his  suit  with  Madame  de 
Bouille,  when,  at  the  end  of  the  month  of  November 
1640,  the  Count  de  Saint-Geran  was  obliged  to 
repair  to  Paris  in  great  haste  on  pressing  duty. 

The  countess,  who  could  not  bear  to  be  separated 
from  her  husband,  took  the  family  advice  as  to 
accompanying  him.  The  marquis,  delighted  at  an 
opportunity  which  left  him  almost  alone  in  the 
chateau  with  Madame  de  Bouille,  painted  the  jour- 
ney to  Paris  in  the  most  attractive  colours,  and  said 
all  he  could  to  decide  her  to  go.  The  marchioness, 
for  her  part,  worked  very  quietly  to  the  same  end ; 
it  was  more  than  was  needed.  It  was  settled  that 
the  countess  should  go  with  M.  de  Saint-Geran. 
She  soon  made  her  preparations,  and  a  few  days 
later  they  set  off  on  the  journey  together. 

The  marquis  had  no  fears  about  declaring  his 
passion;  the  conquest  of  Madame  de  Bouille  gave 
him  no  trouble;  he  affected  the  most  violent  love, 
and  she  responded  in  the  same  terms.  All  their 
time  was  spent  in  excursions  and  walks  from  which 



the  servants  were  excluded;  the  lovers,  always 
together,  passed  whole  days  in  some  retired  part 
of  the  park,  or  shut  up  in  their  apartments.  It  was 
impossible  for  these  circumstances  not  to  cause  gos- 
sip among  an  army  of  servants,  against  whom  they 
had  to  keep  incessantly  on  their  guard;  and  this 
naturally  happened. 

The  marchioness  soon  found  herself  obliged  to 
make  confidantes  of  the  sisters  Quinet,  her  maids; 
she  had  no  difficulty  in  gaining  their  support,  for 
the  girls  were  greatly  attached  to  her.  This  was 
the  first  step  of  shame  for  Madame  de  Bouille,  and 
the  first  step  of  corruption  for  herself  and  her  para- 
mour, who  soon  found  themselves  entangled  in  the 
blackest  of  plots.  Moreover,  there  was  at  the 
chateau  de  Saint-Geran  a  tall,  spare,  yellow,  stupid 
man,  just  intelligent  enough  to  perform,  if  not  to 
conceive,  a  bad  action,  who  was  placed  in  authority 
over  the  domestics ;  he  was  a  common  peasant  whom 
the  old  marshal  had  deigned  to  notice,  and  whom 
the  count  had  by  degrees  promoted  to  the  service  of 
major-domo  on  account  of  his  long  service  in  the 
house,  and  because  he  had  seen  him  there  since  he 
himself  was  a  child;  he  would  not  take  him  away 
as  body  servant,  fearing  that  his  notions  of  service 
would  not  do  for  Paris,  and  left  him  to  the  super- 
intendence of  the  household.  The  marquis  had  a 
quiet  talk  with  this  man,  took  his  measure,  warped 



his  mind  as  he  wished,  gave  him  some  money,  and 
acquired  him  body  and  soul.  These  different  agents 
undertook  to  stop  the  chatter  of  the  servants'  hall, 
and  thenceforward  the  lovers  could  enjoy  free 

One  evening,  as  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent 
was  at  supper  in  company  with  the  marchioness,  a 
loud  knocking  was  heard  at  the  gate  of  the  chateau, 
to  which  they  paid  no  great  attention.  This  was 
followed  by  the  appearance  of  a  courier  who  had 
come  post  haste  from  Paris;  he  entered  the  court- 
yard with  a  letter  from  the  Count  de  Saint-Geran 
for  M.  the  marquis;  he  was  announced  and  intro- 
duced, followed  by  nearly  all  the  household.  The 
marquis  asked  the  meaning  of  all  this,  and  dismissed 
all  the  following  with  a  wave  of  the  hand;  but  the 
courier  explained  that  M.  the  count  desired  that  the 
letter  in  his  hands  should  be  read  before  everyone. 
The  marquis  opened  it  without  replying,  glanced 
over  it,  and  read  it  out  loud  without  the  slightest 
alteration :  the  count  announced  to  his  good  rela- 
tions and  to  all  his  household  that  the  countess  had 
indicated  positive  symptoms  of  pregnancy;  that 
hardly  had  she  arrived  in  Paris  when  she  suffered 
from  fainting  fits,  nausea,  retching,  that  she  bore 
with  joy  these  premonitory  indications,  which  were 
no  longer  a  matter  of  doubt  to  the  physicians,  nor 
to  anyone ;  that  for  his  part  he  was  overwhelmed 



with  joy  at  this  event,  which  was  the  crowning 
stroke  to  all  his  wishes;  that  he  desired  the  chateau 
to  share  his  satisfaction  by  indulging  in  all  kinds 
of  gaieties;  and  that  so  far  as  other  matters  were 
concerned  they  could  remain  as  they  were  till  the 
return  of  himself  and  the  countess,  which  the  letter 
would  precede  only  a  few  days,  as  he  was  going 
to  transport  her  in  a  litter  for  greater  safety.  Then 
followed  the  specification  of  certain  sums  of  money 
to  be  distributed  among  the  servants. 

The  servants  uttered  cries  of  joy;  the  marquis 
and  marchioness  exchanged  a  look,  but  a  very 
troublous  one;  they,  however,  restrained  themselves 
so  far  as  to  simulate  a  great  satisfaction,  and  the 
marquis  brought  himself  to  congratulate  the  ser- 
vants on  their  attachment  to  their  master  and  mis- 
tress. After  this  they  were  left  alone,  looking  very 
serious,  while  crackers  exploded  and  violins  re- 
sounded under  the  windows.  For  some  time  they 
preserved  silence,  the  first  thought  which  occurred 
to  both  being  that  the  count  and  countess  had 
allowed  themselves  to  be  deceived  by  trifling  symp- 
toms, that  people  had  wished  to  flatter  their  hopes, 
that  it  was  impossible  for  a  constitution  to  change  so 
suddenly  after  twenty  years,  and  that  it  was  a  case 
of  simulative  pregnancy.  This  opinion  gaining 
strength  in  their  minds  made  them  somewhat  calmer. 

The  next  day  they  took  a  walk  side  by  side  in  a 

8— Dumas— Vol.  7  234* 


solitary  path  in  the  park  and  discussed  the  chances 
of  their  situation.  M.  de  Saint-Maixent  brought 
before  the  marchioness  the  enormous  injury  which 
this  event  would  bring  them.  He  then  said  that 
even  supposing  the  news  to  be  true,  there  were  many 
rocks  ahead  to  be  weathered  before  the  succession 
could  be  pronounced  secure. 

"  The  child  may  die,"  he  said  at  last. 

And  he  uttered  some  sinister  expressions  on  the 
slight  damage  caused  by  the  loss  of  a  puny  creature 
without  mind,  interest,  or  consequence ;  nothing,  he 
said,  but  a  bit  of  ill-organised  matter,  which  only 
came  into  the  world  to  ruin  so  considerable  a  person 
as  the  marchioness. 

"  But  what  is  the  use  of  tormenting  ourselves?  " 
he  went  on  impatiently ;  "  the  countess  is  not  preg- 
nant, nor  can  she  be." 

A  gardener  working  near  them  overheard  this 
part  of  the  conversation,  but  as  they  walked  away 
from  him  he  could  not  hear  any  more. 

A  few  days  later,  some  outriders,  sent  before  him 
by  the  count,  entered  the  chateau,  saying  that  their 
master  and  mistress  were  close  at  hand.  In  fact, 
they  were  promptly  followed  by  brakes  and  travel- 
ling-carriages, and  at  length  the  countess's  litter 
was  descried,  which  M.  de  Saint-Geran,  on  horse- 
back, had  never  lost  sight  of  during  the  journey. 
It  was  a  triumphal  reception:  all  the  peasants  had 


left  their  work,  and  filled  the  air  with  shouts  of  wel- 
come; the  servants  ran  to  meet  their  mistress;  the 
ancient  retainers  wept  for  joy  at  seeing  the  count 
so  happy  and  in  the  hope  that  his  noble  qualities 
might  be  perpetuated  in  his  heir.  The  marquis  and 
Madame  de  Bouille  did  their  best  to  tune  up  to  the 
pitch  of  this  hilarity. 

The  dowager  countess,  who  had  arrived  at  the 
chateau  the  same  day,  unable  to  convince  herself 
as  to  this  news,  had  the  pleasure  of  satisfying  her- 
self respecting  it.  The  count  and  countess  were 
much  beloved  in  the  Bourbonnais  province;  this 
event  caused  therein  a  general  satisfaction,  par- 
ticularly in  the  numerous  houses  attached  to  them 
by  consanguinity.  Within  a  few  days  of  their 
return,  more  than  twenty  ladies  of  quality  flocked 
to  visit  them  in  great  haste,  to  show  the  great  inter- 
est they  took  in  this  pregnancy.  All  these  ladies,  on 
one  occasion  or  another,  convinced  themselves  as  to 
its  genuineness,  and  many  of  them,  carrying  the 
subject  still  further,  in  a  joking  manner  which 
pleased  the  countess,  dubbed  themselves  prophet- 
esses, and  predicted  the  birth  of  a  boy.  The  usual 
symptoms  incidental  to  the  situation  left  no  room 
for  doubt :  the  country  physicians  were  all  agreed. 
The  count  kept  one  of  these  physicians  in  the  chateau 
for  two  months,  and  spoke  to  the  Marquis  of  Saint- 
Maixent  of  his  intention  of  procuring  a  good  mid- 


wife,  on  the  same  terms.  Finally,  the  dowager 
countess,  who  was  to  be  sponsor,  ordered  at  a  great 
expense  a  magnificent  store  of  baby  linen,  which 
she  desired  to  present  at  the  birth. 

The  marchioness  devoured  her  rage,  and  among 
the  persons  who  went  beside  themselves  with  joy 
not  one  remarked  the  disappointment  which  over- 
spread her  soul.  Every  day  she  saw  the  marquis, 
who  did  all  he  could  to  increase  her  regret,  and 
incessantly  stirred  up  her  ill-humour  by  repeating 
that  the  count  and  countess  were  triumphing  over 
her  misfortune,  and  insinuating  that  they  were 
importing  a  supposititious  child  to  disinherit  her.  As 
usual  both  in  private  and  political  affairs,  he  began 
by  corrupting  the  marchioness's  religious  views,  to 
pervert  her  into  crime.  The  marquis  was  one  of 
those  libertines  so  rare  at  that  time,  a  period  less 
unhappy  than  is  generally  believed,  who  made 
science  dependent  upon  atheism.  It  is  remarkable 
that  great  criminals  of  this  epoch,  Sainte-Croix  for 
instance,  and  Exili,  the  gloomy  poisoner,  were  the 
first  unbelievers,  and  that  they  preceded  the  learned 
of  the  following  age  both  in  philosophy  and  in  the 
exclusive  study  of  physical  science,  in  which  they 
included  that  of  poisons.  Passion,  interest,  hatred 
fought  the  marquis's  battles  in  the  heart  of  Madame 
de  Bouille;  she  readily  lent  herself  to  everything 
that  M.  de  Saint-Maixent  wished 



The  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent  had  a  confidential 
servant,  cunning,  insolent,  resourceful,  whom  he 
had  brought  from  his  estates,  a  servant  well  suited 
to  such  a  master,  whom  he  sent  on  errands  fre- 
quently into  the  neighbourhood  of  Saint-Geran. 

One  evening,  as  the  marquis  was  about  to  go  to 
bed,  this  man,  returning  from  one  of  his  expedi- 
tions, entered  his  room,  where  he  remained  for  a 
long  time,  telling  him  that  he  had  at  length  found 
what  he  wanted,  and  giving  him  a  small  piece  of 
paper  which  contained  several  names  of  places  and 

Next  morning,  at  daybreak,  the  marquis  caused 
two  of  his  horses  to  be  saddled,  pretended  that  he 
was  summoned  home  on  pressing  business,  fore- 
saw that  he  should  be  absent  for  three  or  four  days, 
made  his  excuses  to  the  count,  and  set  off  at  full 
gallop,  followed  by  his  servant. 

They  slept  that  night  at  an  inn  on  the  road  to 
Auvergne,  to  put  off  the  scent  any  persons  who 
might  recognise  them;  then,  following  cross-coun- 
try roads,  they  arrived  after  two  days  at  a  large 
hamlet,  which  they  had  seemed  to  have  passed  far 
to  their  left. 

In  this  hamlet  was  a  woman  who  practised  the 
avocation  of  midwife,  and  was  known  as  such  in 
the  neighbourhood,  but  who  had,  it  was  said,  mys- 
terious and  infamous  secrets  for  those  who  paid 



her  well.  Further,  she  drew  a  good  income  from 
the  influence  which  her  art  gave  her  over  credulous 
people.  It  was  all  in  her  line  to  cure  the  king's  evil, 
compound  philtres  and  love  potions;  she  was  useful 
in  a  variety  of  ways  to  girls  who  could  afford  to 
pay  her;  she  was  a  lovers'  go-between,  and  even 
practised  sorcery  for  country  folk.  She  played  her 
cards  so  well,  that  the  only  persons  privy  to  her 
misdeeds  were  unfortunate  creatures  who  had  as 
strong  an  interest  as  herself  in  keeping  them  pro- 
foundly secret;  and  as  her  terms  were  very  high, 
she  lived  comfortably  enough  in  a  house  her  own 
property,  and  entirely  alone,  for  greater  security. 
In  a  general  way,  she  was  considered  skilful  in  her 
ostensible  profession,  and  was  held  in  estimation  by 
many  persons  of  rank.  This  woman's  name  was 
Louise  Goillard. 

Alone  one  evening  after  curfew,  she  heard  a  loud 
knocking  at  the  door  of  her  house.  Accustomed  to 
receive  visits  at  all  hours,  she  took  her  lamp  without 
hesitation,  and  opened  the  door.  An  armed  man, 
apparently  much  agitated,  entered  the  room.  Lou- 
ise Goillard,  in  a  great  fright,  fell  into  a  chair;  this 
man  was  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent. 

"  Calm  yourself,  good  woman,"  said  the  stranger, 
panting  and  stammering;  "be  calm,  I  beg;  for  it  is 
I,  not  you,  who  have  any  cause  for  emotion.  I  am 
not  a  brigand,  and  far  from  your  having  anything 



to  fear,  it  is  I,  on  the  contrary,  who  am  come  to 
beg  for  your  assistance." 

He  threw  his  cloak  into  a  corner,  unbuckled  his 
waistbelt,  and  laid  aside  his  sword.  Then  falling 
into  a  chair,  he  said — 

"  First  of  all,  let  me  rest  a  little." 

The  marquis  wore  a  travelling-dress ;  but  although 
he  had  not  stated  his  name,  Louise  Goillard  saw  at 
a  glance  that  he  was  a  very  different  person  from 
what  she  had  thought,  and  that,  on  the  contrary,  he 
was  some  fine  gentleman  who  had  come  on  his  love 

"  I  beg  you  to  excuse,"  said  she,  "  a  fear  which 
is  insulting  to  you.  You  came  in  so  hurriedly  that 
I  had  not  time  to  see  whom  I  was  talking  to. 
My  house  is  rather  lonely;  I  am  alone;  ill- 
disposed  people  might  easily  take  advantage  of 
these  circumstances  to  plunder  a  poor  woman  who 
has  little  enough  to  lose.  The  times  are  so 
bad!  You  seem  tired.  Will  you  inhale  some 
essence?  " 

"  Give  me  only  a  glass  of  water." 

Louise  Goillard  went  into  the  adjoining  room, 
and  returned  with  an  ewer.  The  marquis  affected 
to  rinse  his  lips,  and  said — 

"  I  come  from  a  great  distance  on  a  most  import- 
ant matter.  Be  assured  that  I  shall  be  properly 
grateful  for  your  services." 



He  felt  in  his  pocket,  and  pulled  out  a  purse, 
which  he  rolled  between  his  ringers. 

"  In  the  first  place,  you  must  swear  to  the  greatest 

"  There  is  no  need  of  that  with  us,"  said  Louise 
Goillard;  "that  is  the  first  condition  of  our 

"  I  must  have  more  express  guarantees,  and  your 
oath  that  you  will  reveal  to  no  one  in  the  world 
what  I  am  going  to  confide  to  you." 

"  I  give  you  my  word,  then,  since  you  demand  it ; 
but  I  repeat  that  this  is  superfluous;  you  do  not 
know  me." 

"  Consider  that  this  is  a  most  serious  matter,  that 
I  am  as  it  were  placing  my  head  in  your  hands,  and 
that  I  would  lose  my  life  a  thousand  times  rather 
than  see  this  mystery  unravelled." 

"Consider  also,"  bluntly  replied  the  midwife, 
"  that  we  ourselves  are  primarily  interested  in  all 
the  secrets  entrusted  to  us;  that  an  indiscretion 
would  destroy  all  confidence  in  us,  and  that  there 
are  even  cases You  may  speak." 

When  the  marquis  had  reassured  her  as  to  him- 
self by  this  preface,  he  continued :  "  I  know  that 
you  are  a  very  able  woman." 

"  I  could  indeed  wish  to  be  one,  to  serve  you." 

"  That  you  have  pushed  the  study  of  your  art  to 
its  utmost  limits." 



"  I  fear  they  have  been  flattering  your  humble 

"  And  that  your  studies  have  enabled  you  to  pre- 
dict the  future." 

"  That  is  all  nonsense." 

"  It  is  true;  I  have  been  told  so." 

"  You  have  been  imposed  upon." 

"  What  is  the  use  of  denying  it  and  refusing  to 
do  me  a  service  ?  " 

Louise  Goillard  defended  herself  long:  she  could 
not  understand  a  man  of  this  quality  believing  in 
fortune-telling,  which  she  practised  only  with  low- 
class  people  and  rich  farmers;  but  the  marquis 
appeared  so  earnest  that  she  knew  not  what  to  think. 

"  Listen,"  said  he,  "  it  is  no  use  dissembling  with 
me,  I  know  all.  Be  easy;  we  are  playing  a  game 
in  which  you  are  laying  one  against  a  thousand; 
moreover,  here  is  something  on  account  to  compen- 
sate you  for  the  trouble  I  am  giving." 

He  laid  a  pile  of  gold  on  the  table.  The  matron 
weakly  owned  that  she  had  sometimes  attempted 
astrological  combinations  which  were  not  always 
fortunate,  and  that  she  had  been  only  induced  to 
do  so  by  the  fascination  of  the  phenomena  of 
science.  The  secret  of  her  guilty  practices  was 
drawn  from  her  at  the  very  outset  of  her  defence. 

"  That  being  so,"  replied  the  marquis,  "  you  must 
be  already  aware  of  the  situation  in  which  I  find 



myself;  you  must  know  that,  hurried  away  by  a 
blind  and  ardent  passion,  I  have  betrayed  the  con- 
fidence of  an  old  lady  and  violated  the  laws  of  hos- 
pitality by  seducing  her  daughter  in  her  own  house ; 
that  matters  have  come  to  a  crisis,  and  that  this 
noble  damsel,  whom  I  love  to  distraction,  being 
pregnant,  is  on  the  point  of  losing  her  life  and 
honour  by  the  discovery  of  her  fault,  which  is 

The  matron  replied  that  nothing  could  be  ascer- 
tained about  a  person  except  from  private  ques- 
tions; and  to  further  impose  upon  the  marquis,  she 
fetched  a  kind  of  box  marked  with  figures  and 
strange  emblems.  Opening  this,  and  putting 
together  certain  figures  which  it  contained,  she 
declared  that  what  the  marquis  had  told  her  was 
true,  and  that  his  situation  was  a  most  melancholy 
one.  She  added,  in  order  to  frighten  him,  that  he 
was  threatened  by  still  more  serious  misfortunes 
than  those  which  had  already  overtaken  him,  but 
that  it  was  easy  to  anticipate  and  obviate  these  mis- 
chances by  new  consultations. 

"  Madame,"  replied  the  marquis,  "  I  fear  only 
one  thing  in  the  world,  the  dishonour  of  the  woman 
I  love.  Is  there  no  method  of  remedying  the  usual 
embarrassment  of  a  birth  ?  " 

"  I  know  of  none,"  said  the  matron. 

"  The  young  lady  has  succeeded  in  concealing 


her  condition ;  it  would  be  easy  for  her  confinement 
to  take  place  privately." 

"  She  has  already  risked  her  life,  and  I  cannot 
consent  to  be  mixed  up  in  this  affair,  for  fear  of  the 

"  Could  not,  for  instance,"  said  the  marquis,  "  a 
confinement  be  effected  without  pain?  " 

"  I  don't  know  about  that,  but  this  I  do  know, 
that  I  shall  take  very  good  care  not  to  practise  any 
method  contrary  to  the  laws  of  nature." 

"  You  are  deceiving  me :  you  are  acquainted  with 
this  method,  you  have  already  practised  it  upon  a 
certain  person  whom  I  could  name  to  you." 

"  Who  has  dared  to  calumniate  me  thus  ?  I  op- 
erate only  after  the  decision  of  the  Faculty.  God 
forbid  that  I  should  be  stoned  by  all  the  physicians, 
and  perhaps  expelled  from  France !  " 

"  Will  you  then  let  me  die  of  despair?  If  I  were 
capable  of  making  a  bad  use  of  your  secrets,  I  could 
have  done  so  long  ago,  for  I  know  them.  In  Heav- 
en's name,  do  not  dissimulate  any  longer,  and  tell 
me  how  it  is  possible  to  stifle  the  pangs  of  labour. 
Do  you  want  more  gold?  Here  it  is."  And  he 
threw  more  louis  on  the  table. 

"  Stay,"  said  the  matron :  "  there  is  perhaps  a 
method  which  I  think  I  have  discovered,  and  which 
I  have  never  employed,  but  I  believe  it  efficacious." 

"  But  if  you  have  never  employed  it,  it  may  be 
235 1 


dangerous,  and  risk  the  life  of  the  lady  whom  I 

"  When  I  say  never,  I  mean  that  I  have  tried  it 
once,  and  most  successfully.     Be  at  your  ease." 

"  Ah !  "  cried  the  marquis,  "  you  have  earned  my 
everlasting  gratitude!  But,"  continued  he,  "  if  we 
could  anticipate  the  confinement  itself,  and  remove 
from  henceforth  the  symptoms  of  pregnancy?  " 

"  Oh,  sir,  that  is  a  great  crime  you  speak  of!  " 

"  Alas!  "  continued  the  marquis,  as  if  speaking  to 
himself  in  a  fit  of  intense  grief,  "  I  had  rather  lose 
a  dear  child,  the  pledge  of  our  love,  than  bring  into 
the  world  an  unhappy  creature  which  might  pos- 
sibly cause  its  mother's  death." 

"  I  pray  you,  sir,  let  no  more  be  said  on  the  sub- 
ject; it  is  a  horrible  crime  even  to  think  of  such  a 

"  But  what  is  to  be  done?  Is  it  better  to  destroy 
two  persons  and  perhaps  kill  a  whole  family  with 
despair?  Oh,  madame,  I  entreat  you,  extricate  us 
from  this  extremity !  " 

The  marquis  buried  his  face  in  his  hands,  and 
sobbed  as  though  he  were  weeping  copiously. 

"  Your  despair  grievously  affects  me,"  said  the 
matron ;  "  but  consider  that  for  a  woman  of  my 
calling  it  is  a  capital  offence." 

"  What  are  you  talking  about  ?  Do  not  our  mys- 
tery,   our    safety,    and   our   credit    come    in    first? 



They  can  never  get  at  you  till  after  the  death 
and  dishonour  of  all  that  is  dear  to  me  in  the 

"  I  might  then,  perhaps But  in  this  case  you 

must  insure  me  against  legal  complications,  fines, 
and  procure  me  a  safe  exit  from  the  kingdom." 

"  Ah !  that  is  my  affair.  Take  my  whole  fortune ! 
Take  my  life!  " 

And  he  threw  the  whole  purse  on  the  table. 

"  In  this  case,  and  solely  to  extricate  you  from 
the  extreme  danger  in  which  I  see  you  placed,  I 
consent  to  give  you  a  decoction,  and  certain 
instructions,  which  will  instantly  relieve  the  lady 
from  her  burden.  She  must  use  the  greatest  pre- 
caution, and  study  to  carry  out  exactly  what  I  am 
about  to  tell  you.     My  God!  only  such  desperate 

occasions    as    this    one    could    induce    me    to 

Here " 

She  took  a  flask  from  the  bottom  of  a  cupboard, 
and  continued — 

"  Here  is  a  liquor  which  never  fails." 

"  Oh,  madame,  you  save  my  honour,  which  is 
dearer  to  me  than  life !  But  this  is  not  enough : 
tell  me  what  use  I  am  to  make  of  this  liquor,  and  in 
what  doses  I  am  to  administer  it." 

"  The  patient,"  replied  the  midwife,  "  must  take 
one  spoonful  the  first  day ;  the  second  day  two ;  the 

third " 



"  I  shall  never  remember  all  that ;  write  it  out  for 
me,  I  pray  you,  in  my  pocket-book." 

The  midwife  hesitated  for  a  moment;  but  the 
pocket-book  when  opened  let  fall  a  draft  to  bearer 
for  five  hundred  francs;  the  marquis  took  this  draft 
and  presented  it  to  her.  "  Here,"  said  he,  "  since 
it  has  fallen  out,  it  is  not  worth  while  replacing  it." 

This  last  present  was  so  handsome  as  to  allay  all 
suspicions  in  the  mind  of  the  midwife,  so  she  wrote 
the  full  instructions  in  the  marquis's  pocket-book. 

The  marquis  put  the  bottle  in  his  pocket ;  took  the 
pocket-book,  making  sure  that  the  instructions  were 
fully  given ;  then,  turning  to  the  midwife  with  a  dia- 
bolical smile — 

"  And  now,  my  darling,"  cried  he,  "  you  are  com- 
pletely in  my  power." 

"  What  do  you  mean,  sir?  "  demanded  the  aston- 
ished midwife. 

"  I  mean,"  continued  the  marquis,  "  that  you  are 
an  infamous  sorceress  and  a  miserable  poisoner. 
I  mean  that  I  have  proof  of  your  crimes,  and  that 
now  you  shall  do  what  I  want  or  die  at  the  stake." 

"Mercy!  mercy!"  cried  the  matron,  throwing 
herself  at  the  feet  of  the  marquis. 

"  Your  fate  is  in  my  hands,"  coolly  replied  the 

"Well,  what  must  I  do?"  asked  the  midwife. 
"  I  am  ready  to  do  anything." 



"  Then  it  is  my  turn  to  tell  you  my  secrets ;  only 
I  shall  not  write  them  down." 

"  Name  them,  my  lord,  and  you  shall  be  satisfied 
with  my  devotion." 

"  Sit  down,  then,  and  listen  to  me." 

The  midwife  rose  and  sank  back  into  a  chair. 

"  Now,  then,"  said  the  marquis,  "  I  see  that  you 
grasp  the  alternative :  on  one  hand,  prison,  torture, 
the  stake;  on  the  other,  three  times  as  much  gold 
as  you  have  there;  in  short,  ease  and  comfort  for 
the  rest  of  your  life." 

The  midwife's  eyes  sparkled,  and  she  thanked 
the  marquis  by  a  nod  of  the  head,  as  if  to  show  him 
that  she  was  his,  body  and  soul. 

"  There  is,"  continued  the  marquis,  fixing  a 
piercing  look  in  the  eyes  of  the  poor  woman, — 
"  there  is  in  a  chateau  thirty  leagues  away  a  lady 
of  high  rank  who  is  some  months  advanced  in  preg- 
nancy. The  birth  of  this  child  is  hateful  to  me. 
You  will  be  entrusted  with  the  delivery.  I  will  tell 
you  what  to  do,  and  you  will  do  all  that  I  tell  you. 
Now  we  must  set  out  to-night.  You  will  accom- 
pany me.  I  have  horses  not  far  from  here,  and  will 
take  you  to  a  place  where  you  will  await  my  orders. 
You  will  be  warned  when  the  time  comes.  You 
will  want  for  nothing,  and  all  the  money  you  re- 
quire shall  be  forthcoming." 

"  I  am  ready,"  said  the  midwife  curtly. 


"You  will  obey  me  to  the  minutest  particular?  " 

"  I  swear  it." 

"  Let  us  start,  then." 

She  asked  but  for  time  to  pack  a  little  linen,  put 
things  in  order,  then  fastened  her  doors,  and  left 
the  house  with  the  marquis.  A  quarter  of  an  hour 
later  they  were  galloping  through  the  night,  with- 
out her  knowing  where  the  marquis  was  taking 

The  marquis  reappeared  three  days  later  at  the 
chateau,  rinding  the  count's  family  as  he  had  left 
them — that  is  to  say,  intoxicated  with  hope,  and 
counting  the  weeks,  days,  and  hours  before  the 
accouchement  of  the  countess.  He  excused  his  hur- 
ried departure  on  the  ground  of  the  importance  of 
the  business  which  had  summoned  him  away;  and 
speaking  of  his  journey  at  table,  he  related  a  story 
current  in  the  country  whence  he  came,  of  a  sur- 
prising event  which  he  had  all  but  witnessed.  It 
was  the  case  of  a  lady  of  quality  who  suddenly 
found  herself  in  the  most  dangerous  pangs  of 
labour.  All  the  skill  of  the  physicians  who  had 
been  summoned  proved  futile;  the  lady  was  at  the 
point  of  death;  at  last,  in  sheer  despair,  they  sum- 
moned a  midwife  of  great  repute  among  the  peas- 
antry, but  whose  practice  did  not  include  the  gentry. 
From  the  first  treatment  of  this  woman,  who  ap- 
peared modest  and  diffident  to  a  degree,  the  pains 



ceased  as  if  by  enchantment;  the  patient  fell  into 
an  indefinable  calm  languor,  and  after  some  hours 
was  delivered  of  a  beautiful  infant;  but  after  this 
was  attacked  by  a  violent  fever  which  brought  her 
to  death's  door.  They  then  again  had  recourse  to 
the  doctors,  notwithstanding  the  opposition  of  the 
master  of  the  house,  who  had  confidence  in  the 
matron.  The  doctors'  treatment  only  made  matters 
worse.  In  this  extremity  they  again  called  in  the 
midwife,  and  at  the  end  of  three  weeks  the  lady 
was  miraculously  restored  to  life,  thus,  added  the 
marquis,  establishing  the  reputation  of  the  matron, 
who  had  sprung  into  such  vogue  in  the  town  where 
she  lived  and  the  neighbouring  country  that  nothing 
else  was  talked  about. 

This  story  made  a  great  impression  on  the  com- 
pany, on  account  of  the  condition  of  the  countess; 
the  dowager  added  that  it  was  very  wrong  to  ridicule 
these  humble  country  experts,  who  often  through 
observation  and  experience  discovered  secrets  which 
proud  doctors  were  unable  to  unravel  with  all  their 
studies.  Hereupon  the  count  cried  out  that  this 
midwife  must  be  sent  for,  as  she  was  just  the  kind 
of  woman  they  wanted.  After  this  other  matters 
were  talked  about,  the  marquis  changing  the 
conversation;  he  had  gained  his  point  in  quietly 
introducing  the  thin  end  of  the  wedge  of  his 



After  dinner,  the  company  walked  on  the  terrace. 
The  countess  dowager  not  being  able  to  walk  much 
on  account  of  her  advanced  age,  the  countess  and 
Madame  de  Bouille  took  chairs  beside  her.  The 
count  walked  up  and  down  with  M.  de  Saint-Maix- 
ent.  The  marquis  naturally  asked  how  things  had 
been  going  on  during  his  absence,  and  if  Madame 
de  Saint-Geran  had  suffered  any  inconvenience,  for 
her  pregnancy  had  become  the  most  important  affair 
in  the  household,  and  hardly  anything  else  was 
talked  about. 

"  By  the  way,"  said  the  count,  "  you  were  speak- 
ing just  now  of  a  very  skilful  midwife;  would  it 
not  be  a  good  step  to  summon  her  ?  " 

"  I  think,"  replied  the  marquis,  "  that  it  would 
be  an  excellent  selection,  for  I  do  not  suppose  there 
is  one  in  this  neighbourhood  to  compare  to  her." 

"  I  have  a  great  mind  to  send  for  her  at  once, 
and  to  keep  her  about  the  countess,  whose  consti- 
tution she  will  be  all  the  better  acquainted  with  if 
she  studies  it  beforehand.  Do  you  know  where  I 
can  send  for  her?  " 

"  Faith,"  said  the  marquis,  "  she  lives  in  a  vil- 
lage, but  I  don't  know  which." 

"  But  at  least  you  know  her  name  ?  " 

"  I  can  hardly  remember  it.  Louise  Boyard,  I 
think,  or  Polliard,  one  or  the  other." 

"  How !  have  you  not  even  retained  the  name  ?  " 


"  I  heard  the  story,  that's  all.  Who  the  deuce 
can  keep  a  name  in  his  head  which  he  hears  in  such 
a  chance  fashion  ?  " 

"  But  did  the  condition  of  the  countess  never 
occur  to  you?  " 

"  It  was  so  far  away  that  I  did  not  suppose  you 
would  send  such  a  distance.  I  thought  you  were 
already  provided." 

"  How  can  we  set  about  to  find  her  ?  " 

"  If  that  is  all,  I  have  a  servant  who  knows  peo- 
ple in  that  part  of  the  country,  and  who  knows  how 
to  go  about  things:  if  you  like,  he  shall  go  in  quest 
of  her." 

"  If  I  like?    This  very  moment." 

The  same  evening  the  servant  started  on  his 
errand  with  the  count's  instructions,  not  forgetting 
those  of  his  master.  He  went  at  full  speed.  It 
may  readily  be  supposed  that  he  had  not  far  to  seek 
the  woman  he  was  to  bring  back  with  him ;  but  he 
purposely  kept  away  for  three  days,  and  at  the  end 
of  this  time  Louise  Goillard  was  installed  in  the 

She  was  a  woman  of  plain  and  severe  exterior, 
who  at  once  inspired  confidence  in  everyone.  The 
plots  of  the  marquis  and  Madame  de  Bouille  thus 
throve  with  most  baneful  success;  but  an  accident 
happened  which  threatened  to  nullify  them,  and, 
by  causing  a  great  disaster,  to  prevent  a  crime. 



The  countess,  passing  into  her  apartments,  caught 
her  foot  in  a  carpet,  and  fell  heavily  on  the  floor. 
At  the  cries  of  a  footman  all  the  household  was 
astir.  The  countess  was  carried  to  bed ;  the  most 
intense  alarm  prevailed;  but  no  bad  consequences 
followed  this  accident,  which  produced  only  a  fur- 
ther succession  of  visits  from  the  neighbouring 
gentry.  This  happened  about  the  end  of  the  seventh 

At  length  the  moment  of  accouchement  came. 
Everything  had  long  before  been  arranged  for  the 
delivery,  and  nothing  remained  to  be  done.  The 
marquis  had  employed  all  this  time  in  strengthen- 
ing Madame  de  Bouille  against  her  scruples.  He 
often  saw  Louise  Goillard  in  private,  and  gave  her 
his  instructions ;  but  he  perceived  that  the  corruption 
of  Baulieu,  the  house  steward,  was  an  essential  fac- 
tor. Baulieu  was  already  half  gained  over  by  the 
interviews  of  the  year  preceding;  a  large  sum  of 
ready  money  and  many  promises  did  the  rest.  This 
wretch  was  not  ashamed  to  join  a  plot  against  a 
master  to  whom  he  owed  everything.  The  mar- 
chioness for  her  part,  and  always  under  the  instiga- 
tion of  M.  de  Saint-Maixent,  secured  matters  all 
round  by  bringing  into  the  abominable  plot  the 
Quinet  girls,  her  maids;  so  that  there  was  nothing 
but  treason  and  conspiracy  against  this  worthy  fam- 
ily among  their  upper  servants,  usually  styled  con- 



fidential.  Thus,  having  prepared  matters,  the  con- 
spirators awaited  the  event. 

On  the  1 6th  of  August  1641  the  Countess  de 
Saint-Geran  was  overtaken  by  the  pangs  of  labour 
in  the  chapel  of  the  chateau,  where  she  was  hearing 
mass.  They  carried  her  to  her  room  before  mass 
was  over,  her  women  ran  around  her,  and  the  count- 
ess dowager  with  her  own  hands  arranged  on  her 
head  a  cap  of  the  pattern  worn  by  ladies  about  to  be 
confined — a  cap  which  is  not  usually  removed  till 
some  time  later. 

The  pains  recurred  with  terrible  intensity.  The 
count  wept  at  his  wife's  cries.  Many  persons  were 
present.  The  dowager's  two  daughters  by  her  sec- 
ond marriage,  one  of  whom,  then  sixteen  years  of 
age,  afterwards  married  the  Duke  de  Ventadour 
and  was  a  party  to  the  lawsuit,  wished  to  be  present 
at  this  accouchement,  which  was  to  perpetuate  by  a 
new  scion  an  illustrious  race  near  extinction.  There 
were  also  Dame  Saligny,  sister  of  the  late  Marshal 
Saint-Geran,  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  and 
the  Marchioness  de  Bouille. 

Everything  seemed  to  favour  the  projects  of  these 
last  two  persons,  who  took  an  interest  in  the  event 
of  a  very  different  character  from  that  generally 
felt.  As  the  pains  produced  no  result,  and  the 
accouchement  was  of  the  most  difficult  nature,  while 
the  countess  was  near  the  last  extremity,  expresses 



were  sent  to  all  the  neighbouring  parishes  to  offer 
prayers  for  the  mother  and  the  child;  the  Holy 
Sacrament  was  elevated  in  the  churches  at  Moulins. 
The  midwife  attended  to  everything  herself.  She 
maintained  that  the  countess  would  be  more  com- 
fortable if  her  slightest  desires  were  instantly 
complied  with.  The  countess  herself  never  spoke  a 
word,  only  interrupting  the  gloomy  silence  by  heart- 
rending cries.  All  at  once,  Madame  de  Bouille,  who 
affected  to  be  bustling  about,  pointed  out  that  the 
presence  of  so  many  persons  was  what  hindered 
the  countess's  accouchement,  and,  assuming  an  air 
of  authority  justified  by  fictitious  tenderness,  said 
that  everyone  must  retire,  leaving  the  patient  in  the 
hands  of  the  persons  who  were  absolutely  necessary 
to  her,  and  that,  to  remove  any  possible  objections, 
the  countess  dowager  her  mother  must  set  the 
example.  The  opportunity  was  made  use  of  to 
remove  the  count  from  this  harrowing  spectacle,  and 
everyone  followed  the  countess  dowager.  Even  the 
countess's  own  maids  were  not  allowed  to  remain, 
being  sent  on  errands  which  kept  them  out  of  the 
way.  This  further  reason  was  given,  that  the  eldest 
being  scarcely  fifteen,  they  were  too  young  to  be 
present  on  such  an  occasion.  The  only  persons  remain- 
ing by  the  bedside  were  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille, 
the  midwife,  and  the  two  Quinet  girls;  the  countess 
was  thus  in  the  hands  of  her  most  cruel  enemies. 



It  was  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening;  the  labours 
continued;  the  elder  Quinet  girl  held  the  patient  by 
the  hand  to  soothe  her.  The  count  and  the  dowager 
sent  incessantly  to  know  the  news.  They  were  told 
that  everything  was  going  on  well,  and  that  shortly 
their  wishes  would  be  accomplished;  but  none  of  the 
servants  were  allowed  to  enter  the  room. 

Three  hours  later,  the  midwife  declared  that  the 
countess  could  not  hold  out  any  longer  unless  she 
got  some  rest.  She  made  her  swallow  a  liquor 
which  was  introduced  into  her  mouth  by  spoonfuls. 
The  countess  fell  into  so  deep  a  sleep  that  she 
seemed  to  be  dead.  The  younger  Quinet  girl 
thought  for  a  moment  that  they  had  killed  her,  and 
wept  in  a  corner  of  the  room,  till  Madame  de  Bouille 
reassured  her. 

During  this  frightful  night  a  shadowy  figure 
prowled  in  the  corridors,  silently  patrolled  the 
rooms,  and  came  now  and  then  to  the  door  of  the 
bedroom,  where  he  conferred  in  a  low  tone  with 
the  midwife  and  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille.  This 
was  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  who  gave  his 
orders,  encouraged  his  people,  watched  over  every 
point  of  his  plot,  himself  a  prey  to  the  agonies  of 
nervousness  which  accompany  the  preparations  for 
a  great  crime. 

The  dowager  countess,  owing  to  her  great  age, 
had  been  compelled  to  take  some  rest.     The  count 



sat  up,  worn  out  with  fatigue,  in  a  downstairs  room 
hard  by  that  in  which  they  were  compassing  the 
ruin  of  all  most  dear  to  him  in  the  world. 

The  countess,  in  her  profound  lethargy,  gave 
birth,  without  being  aware  of  it,  to  a  boy,  who  thus 
fell  on  his  entry  into  the  world  into  the  hands  of 
his  enemies,  his  mother  powerless  to  defend  him  by 
her  cries  and  tears.  The  door  was  half  opened,  and 
a  man  who  was  waiting  outside  brought  in ;  this 
was  the  major-domo  Baulieu. 

The  midwife,  pretending  to  afford  the  first  neces- 
sary cares  to  the  child,  had  taken  it  into  a  corner. 
Baulieu  watched  her  movements,  and  springing 
upon  her,  pinioned  her  arms.  The  wretched  woman 
dug  her  nails  into  the  child's  head.  He  snatched  it 
from  her,  but  the  poor  infant  for  long  bore  the 
marks  of  her  claws. 

Possibly  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille  could  not 
nerve  herself  to  the  commission  of  so  great  a  crime; 
but  it  seems  more  probable  that  the  steward  pre- 
vented the  destruction  of  the  child  under  the  orders 
of  M.  de  Saint-Maixent.  The  theory  is  that  the 
marquis,  mistrustful  of  the  promise  made  him  by 
Madame  de  Bouille  to  marry  him  after  the  death  of 
her  husband,  desired  to  keep  the  child  to  oblige  her 
to  keep  her  word,  under  threats  of  getting  him 
acknowledged,  if  she  proved  faithless  to  him.  No 
other  adequate  reason  can  be  conjectured  to  deter- 



mine  a  man  of  his  character  to  take  such  great  care 
of  his  victim. 

Baulieu  swaddled  the  child  immediately,  put  it  in 
a  basket,  hid  it  under  his  cloak,  and  went  with  his 
prey  to  find  the  marquis;  they  conferred  together 
for  some  time,  after  which  the  house  steward  passed 
by  a  postern  gate  into  the  moat,  thence  to  a  terrace 
by  which  he  reached  a  bridge  leading  into  the  park. 
This  park  had  twelve  gates,  and  he  had  the  keys  of 
all.  He  mounted  a  blood  horse  which  he  had  left 
waiting  behind  a  wall,  and  started  off  at  full  gallop. 
The  same  day  he  passed  through  the  village  of 
Escherolles,  a  league  distant  from  Saint-Geran, 
where  he  stopped  at  the  house  of  a  nurse,  wife  of  a 
glove-maker  named  Claude.  This  peasant  woman 
gave  her  breast  to  the  child;  but  the  steward,  not 
daring  to  stay  in  a  village  so  near  Saint-Geran, 
crossed  the  river  Allier  at  the  port  de  la  Chaise,  and 
calling  at  the  house  of  a  man  named  Boucaud,  the 
good  wife  suckled  the  child  for  the  second  time; 
he  then  continued  his  journey  in  the  direction  of 

The  heat  was  excessive,  his  horse  was  done  up, 
the  child  seemed  uneasy.  A  carrier's  cart  passed 
him  going  to  Riom ;  it  was  owned  by  a  certain  Paul 
Boithion  of  the  town  of  Aigueperce,  a  common 
carrier  on  the  road.  Baulieu  went  alongside  to  put 
the  child   in  the  cart,   which  he  entered  himself, 



carrying  the  infant  on  his  knees.  The  horse  fol- 
lowed, fastened  by  the  bridle  to  the  back  of  the 

In  the  conversation  which  he  held  with  this  man, 
Baulieu  said  that  he  should  not  take  so  much  care 
of  the  child  did  it  not  belong  to  the  most  noble 
house  in  the  Bourbonnais.  They  reached  the  village 
of  Che  at  midday.  The  mistress  of  the  house  where 
he  put  up,  who  was  nursing  an  infant,  consented  to 
give  some  of  her  milk  to  the  child.  The  poor 
creature  was  covered  with  blood ;  she  warmed  some 
water,  stripped  off  its  swaddling  linen,  washed  it 
from  head  to  foot,  and  swathed  it  up  again  more 

The  carrier  then  took  them  to  Riom.  When  they 
got  there,  Baulieu  got  rid  of  him  by  giving  a  false 
meeting-place  for  their  departure ;  left  in  the  direc- 
tion of  the  abbey  of  Lavoine,  and  reached  the  village 
of  Descoutoux,  in  the  mountains,  between  Lavoine 
and  Thiers.  The  Marchioness  de  Bouille  had  a 
chateau  there  where  she  occasionally  spent  some  time. 

The  child  was  nursed  at  Descoutoux  by  Gabrielle 
Moini,  who  was  paid  a  month  in  advance;  but  she 
only  kept  it  a  week  or  so,  because  they  refused  to 
tell  her  the  father  and  mother  and  to  refer  her  to  a 
place  where  she  might  send  reports  of  her  charge. 
This  woman  having  made  these  reasons  public,  no 
nurse  could  be  found  to  take  charge  of  the  child, 



which  was  removed  from  the  village  of  Descoutoux. 
The  persons  who  removed  it  took  the  highroad  to 
Burgundy,  crossing  a  densely  wooded  country,  and 
here  they  lost  their  way. 

The  above  particulars  were  subsequently  proved 
by  the  nurses,  the  carrier,  and  others  who  made  legal 
depositions.  They  are  stated  at  length  here,  as  they 
proved  very  important  in  the  great  lawsuit.  The 
compilers  of  the  case,  into  which  we  search  for 
information,  have  however  omitted  to  tell  us  how 
the  absence  of  the  major-domo  was  accounted  for 
at  the  castle;  probably  the  far-sighted  marquis  had 
got  an  excuse  ready. 

The  countess's  state  of  drowsiness  continued  till 
daybreak.  She  woke  bathed  in  blood,  completely 
exhausted,  but  yet  with  a  sensation  of  comfort 
which  convinced  her  that  she  had  been  delivered 
from  her  burden.  Her  first  words  were  about  her 
child;  she  wished  to  see  it,  kiss  it;  she  asked  where 
it  was.  The  midwife  coolly  told  her,  whilst  the  girls 
who  were  by  were  filled  with  amazement  at  her 
audacity,  that  she  had  not  been  confined  at  all.  The 
countess  maintained  the  contrary,  and  as  she  grew 
very  excited,  the  midwife  strove  to  calm  her,  assur- 
ing her  that  in  any  case  her  delivery  could  not  be 
long  protracted,  and  that,  judging  from  all  the  indi- 
cations of  the  night,  she  would  give  birth  to  a  boy. 
This  promise  comforted  the  count  and  the  countess 



dowager,  but  failed  to  satisfy  the  countess,  who 
insisted  that  a  child  had  been  born. 

The  same  day  a  scullery-maid  met  a  woman  going 
to  the  water's  edge  in  the  castle  moat,  with  a  parcel 
in  her  arms.  She  recognised  the  midwife,  and 
asked  what  she  was  carrying  and  where  she  was 
going  so  early.  The  latter  replied  that  she  was  very 
inquisitive,  and  that  it  was  nothing  at  all;  but  the 
girl,  laughingly  pretending  to  be  angry  at  this 
answer,  pulled  open  one  of  the  ends  of  the  parcel 
before  the  midwife  had  time  to  stop  her,  and 
exposed  to  view  some  linen  soaked  in  blood. 

"  Madame  has  been  confined,  then?  "  she  said  to 
the  matron. 

"  No,"  replied  she  briskly,  "  she  has  not." 

The  girl  was  unconvinced,  and  said,  "  How  do 
you  mean  that  she  has  not,  when  madame  the 
marchioness,  who  was  there,  says  she  has?  " 

The  matron  in  great  confusion  replied,  "  She 
must  have  a  very  long  tongue,  if  she  said  so." 

The  girl's  evidence  was  later  found  most  impor- 

The  countess's  uneasiness  made  her  worse  the 
next  day.  She  implored  with  sighs  and  tears  at 
least  to  be  told  what  had  become  of  her  child, 
steadily  maintaining  that  she  was  not  mistaken  when 
she  assured  them  that  she  had  given  birth  to  one. 
The  midwife  with  great  effrontery  told  her  that  the 


new  moon  was  unfavourable  to  childbirth,  and  that 
she  must  wait  for  the  wane,  when  it  would  be  easier 
as  matters  were  already  prepared. 

Invalids'  fancies  do  not  obtain  much  credence; 
still,  the  persistence  of  the  countess  would  have  con- 
vinced everyone  in  the  long  run,  had  not  the  dow- 
ager said  that  she  remembered  at  the  end  of  the 
ninth  month  of  one  of  her  own  pregnancies  she  had 
all  the  premonitory  symptoms  of  lying  in,  but  they 
proved  false,  and  in  fact  the  accouchement  took  place 
three  months  later. 

This  piece  of  news  inspired  great  confidence.  The 
marquis  and  Madame  de  Bouille  did  all  in  their 
power  to  confirm  it,  but  the  countess  obstinately 
refused  to  listen  to  it,  and  her  passionate  transports 
of  grief  gave  rise  to  the  greatest  anxiety.  The  mid- 
wife, who  knew  not  how  to  gain  time,  and  was  losing 
all  hope  in  face  of  the  countess's  persistence,  was 
almost  frightened  out  of  her  wits;  she  entered  into 
medical  details,  and  finally  said  that  some  violent 
exercise  must  be  taken  to  induce  labour.  The 
countess,  still  unconvinced,  refused  to  obey  this 
order ;  but  the  count,  the  dowager,  and  all  the  family 
entreated  her  so  earnestly  that  she  gave  way. 

They  put  her  in  a  close  carriage,  and  drove  her 
a  whole  day  over  ploughed  fields,  by  the  roughest 
and  hardest  roads.  She  was  so  shaken  that  she  lost 
the  power  of  breathing;  it  required  all  the  strength 



of  her  constitution  to  support  this  barbarous  treat- 
ment in  the  delicate  condition  of  a  lady  so  recently 
confined.  They  put  her  to  bed  again  after  this  cruel 
drive,  and  seeing  that  nobody  took  her  view,  she 
threw  herself  into  the  arms  of  Providence,  and  con- 
soled herself  by  religion;  the  midwife  administered 
violent  remedies  to  deprive  her  of  milk ;  she  got  over 
all  these  attempts  to  murder  her,  and  slowly  got 

Time,  which  heals  the  deepest  affliction,  gradually 
soothed  that  of  the  countess;  her  grief  nevertheless 
burst  out  periodically  on  the  slightest  cause ;  but 
eventually  it  died  out,  till  the  following  events 
rekindled  it. 

There  had  been  in  Paris  a  fencing-master  who 
used  to  boast  that  he  had  a  brother  in  the  service  of 
a  great  house.  This  fencing-master  had  married  a 
certain  Marie  Pigoreau,  daughter  of  an  actor.  He 
had  recently  died  in  poor  circumstances,  leaving  her 
a  widow  with  two  children.  This  woman  Pigoreau 
did  not  enjoy  the  best  of  characters,  and  no  one  knew 
how  she  made  a  living,  when  all  at  once,  after  some 
short  absences  from  home  and  visit  from  a  man  who 
came  in  the  evening,  his  face  muffled  in  his  cloak,  she 
launched  out  into  a  more  expensive  style  of  living; 
the  neighbours  saw  in  her  house  costly  clothes,  fine 
swaddling-clothes,  and  at  last  it  became  known  that 
she  was  nursing  a  strange  child. 



About  the  same  time  it  also  transpired  that  she 
had  a  deposit  of  two  thousand  livres  in  the  hands  of 
a  grocer  in  the  quarter,  named  Raguenet ;  some  days 
later,  as  the  child's  baptism  had  doubtless  been  put 
off  for  fear  of  betraying  his  origin,  Pigoreau  had 
him  christened  at  St.  Jean  en  Greve.  She  did  not 
invite  any  of  the  neighbours  to  the  function,  and 
gave  parents'  names  of  her  own  choosing  at  the 
church.  For  godfather  she  selected  the  parish  sex- 
ton, named  Paul  Marmiou,  who  gave  the  child  the 
name  of  Bernard.  La  Pigoreau  remained  in  a  con- 
fessional during  the  ceremony,  and  gave  the  man  ten 
sous.  The  godmother  was  Jeanne  Chevalier,  a  poor 
woman  of  the  parish. 

The  entry  in  the  register  was  as  follows: — 

"  On  the  seventh  day  of  March  one  thousand 
six  hundred  and  forty-two  was  baptised  Bernard^ 
son  of  .  .  .  and  .  .  .  ,  his  godfather  being 
Paul  Marmiou,  day  labourer  and  servant 
of  this  parish,  and  his  godmother  Jeanne 
Chevalier,  widow  of  Pierre  Thibou." 

A  few  days  afterwards  la  Pigoreau  put  out  the 
child  to  nurse  in  the  village  of  Torcy  en  Brie,  with 
a  woman  who  had  been  her  godmother,  whose  hus- 
band was  called  Paillard.  She  gave  out  that  it  was 
a  child  of  quality  which  had  been  entrusted  to  her, 



and  that  she  should  not  hesitate,  if  such  a  thing  were 
necessary,  to  save  its  life  by  the  loss  of  one  of  her 
own  children.  The  nurse  did  not  keep  it  long, 
because  she  fell  ill ;  la  Pigoreau  went  to  fetch  the 
child  away,  lamenting  this  accident,  and  further 
saying  that  she  regretted  it  all  the  more,  as  the 
nurse  would  have  earned  enough  to  make  her  com- 
fortable for  the  rest  of  her  life.  She  put  the  infant 
out  again  in  the  same  village,  with  the  widow  of  a 
peasant  named  Marc  Peguin.  The  monthly  wage 
was  regularly  paid,  and  the  child  brought  up  as  one 
of  rank.  La  Pigoreau  further  told  the  woman  that 
it  was  the  son  of  a  great  nobleman,  and  would  later 
make  the  fortunes  of  those  who  served  him.  An 
elderly  man,  whom  the  people  supposed  to  be  the 
child's  father,  but  who  Pigoreau  assured  them  was 
her  brother-in-law,  often  came  to  see  him. 

When  the  child  was  eighteen  months  old,  la 
Pigoreau  took  him  away  and  weaned  him.  Of  the 
two  by  her  husband  the  elder  was  called  Antoine, 
the  second  would  have  been  called  Henri  if  he  had 
lived;  but  he  was  born  on  the  9th  of  August  1639, 
after  the  death  of  his  father,  who  was  killed  in  June 
of  the  same  year,  and  died  shortly  after  his  birth. 
La  Pigoreau  thought  fit  to  give  the  name  and  con- 
dition of  this  second  son  to  the  stranger,  and  thus 
bury  for  ever  the  secret  of  his  birth.  With  this  end 
in  view,  she  left  the  quarter  where  she  lived,  and 


removed  to  conceal  herself  in  another  parish  where 
she  was  not  known.  The  child  was  brought  up 
under  the  name  and  style  of  Henri,  second  son  of 
la  Pigoreau,  till  he  was  two  and  a  half  years  of 
age ;  but  at  this  time,  whether  she  was  not  engaged 
to  keep  it  any  longer,  or  whether  she  had  spent  the 
two  thousand  livres  deposited  with  the  grocer 
Raguenet,  and  could  get  no  more  from  the  prin- 
cipals, she  determined  to  get  rid  of  it. 

Her  gossips  used  to  tell  this  woman  that  she  cared 
but  little  for  her  eldest  son,  because  she  was  very 
confident  of  the  second  one  making  his  fortune,  and 
that  if  she  were  obliged  to  give  up  one  of  them,  she 
had  better  keep  the  younger,  who  was  a  beautiful 
boy.  To  this  she  would  reply  that  the  matter  did 
not  depend  upon  her ;  that  the  boy's  godfather  was  an 
uncle  in  good  circumstances,  who  would  not  charge 
himself  with  any  other  child.  She  often  mentioned 
this  uncle,  her  brother-in-law,  she  said,  who  was 
major-domo  in  a  great  house. 

One  morning,  the  hall  porter  at  the  hotel  de  Saint- 
Geran  came  to  Baulieu  and  told  him  that  a  woman 
carrying  a  child  was  asking  for  him  at  the  wicket 
gate;  this  Baulieu  was,  in  fact,  the  brother  of  the 
fencing-master,  and  godfather  to  Pigoreau's  second 
son.  It  is  now  supposed  that  he  was  the  unknown 
person  who  had  placed  the  child  of  quality  with  her, 
and  who  used  to  go  and  see  him  at  his  nurse's.    La 

9— Dumas— Vol.  7  **'  ^ 


Pigoreau  gave  him  a  long  account  of  her  situation. 
The  major-domo  took  the  child  with  some  emotion, 
and  told  la  Pigoreau  to  wait  his  answer  a  short  dis- 
tance off,  in  a  place  which  he  pointed  out. 

Baulieu's  wife  made  a  great  outcry  at  the  first 
proposal  of  an  increase  of  family;  but  he  succeeded 
in  pacifying  her  by  pointing  out  the  necessities  of 
his  sister-in-law,  and  how  easy  and  inexpensive  it 
was  to  do  this  good  work  in  such  a  house  as  the 
count's.  He  went  to  his  master  and  mistress  to  ask 
permission  to  bring  up  this  child  in  their  hotel ;  a 
kind  of  feeling  entered  into  the  charge  he  was  under- 
taking which  in  some  measure  lessened  the  weight 
on  his  conscience. 

The  count  and  countess  at  first  opposed  this 
project;  telling  him  that  having  already  five  children 
he  ought  not  to  burden  himself  with  any  more,  but 
he  petitioned  so  earnestly  that  he  obtained  what  he 
wanted.  The  countess  wished  to  see  it,  and  as  she 
was  about  to  start  for  Moulins  she  ordered  it  to  be 
put  in  her  women's  coach ;  when  it  was  shown  her, 
she  cried  out,  "What  a  lovely  child ! "  The  boy  was 
fair,  with  large  blue  eyes  and  very  regular  features. 
She  gave  him  a  hundred  caresses,  which  the  child  re- 
turned very  prettily.  She  at  once  took  a  great  fancy 
to  him,  and  said  to  Baulieu,  "  I  shall  not  put  him  in 
my  women's  coach ;  I  shall  put  him  in  my  own." 

After  they  arrived  at  the  chateau  of  Saint-Geran, 


her  affection  for  Henri,  the  name  retained  by  the 
child,  increased  day  by  day.  She  often  contemplated 
him  with  sadness,  then  embraced  him  with  tender- 
ness, and  kept  him  long  on  her  bosom.  The  count 
shared  this  affection  for  the  supposed  nephew  of 
Baulieu,  who  was  adopted,  so  to  speak,  and  brought 
up  like  a  child  of  quality. 

The  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent  and  Madame  de 
Bouille  had  not  married,  although  the  old  Marquis 
de  Bouille  had  long  been  dead.  It  appeared  that  they 
had  given  up  this  scheme.  The  marchioness  no 
doubt  felt  scruples  about  it,  and  the  marquis  was 
deterred  from  marriage  by  his  profligate  habits.  It 
is  moreover  supposed  that  other  engagements  and 
heavy  bribes  compensated  the  loss  he  derived  from 
the  marchioness's  breach  of  faith. 

He  was  a  man  about  town  at  that  period,  and  was 
making  love  to  the  demoiselle  Jacqueline  de  la 
Garde;  he  had  succeeded  in  gaining  her  affections, 
and  brought  matters  to  such  a  point  that  she  no 
longer  refused  her  favours  except  on  the  grounds  of 
her  pregnancy  and  the  danger  of  an  indiscretion. 
The  marquis  then  offered  to  introduce  to  her  a 
matron  who  could  deliver  women  without  the  pangs 
of  labour,  and  who  had  a  very  successful  practice. 
The  same  Jacqueline  de  la  Garde  further  gave  evi- 
dence at  the  trial  that  M.  de  Saint-Maixent  had 
often  boasted,  as  of  a  scientific  intrigue,  of  having 



spirited  away  the  son  of  a  governor  of  a  province 
and  grandson  of  a  marshal  of  France;  that  he  spoke 
of  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille,  said  that  he  had  made 
her  rich,  and  that  it  was  to  him  she  owed  her  great 
wealth ;  and  further,  that  one  day  having  taken  her 
to  a  pretty  country  seat  which  belonged  to  him,  she 
praised  its  beauty,  saying  "  c'etait  un  beau  lieu  " ;  he 
replied  by  a  pun  on  a  man's  name,  saying  that  he 
knew  another  Baulieu  who  had  enabled  him  to  make 
a  fortune  of  five  hundred  thousand  crowns.  He 
also  said  to  Jadelon,  sieur  de  la  Barbesange,  when 
posting  with  him  from  Paris,  that  the  Countess  de 
Saint-Geran  had  been  delivered  of  a  son  who  was  in 
his  power. 

The  marquis  had  not  seen  Madame  de  Bouille  for 
a  long  time ;  a  common  danger  reunited  them.  They 
had  both  learned  with  terror  the  presence  of  Henri 
at  the  hotel  de  Saint-Geran.  They  consulted  about 
this ;  the  marquis  undertook  to  cut  the  danger  short. 
However,  he  dared  put  in  practice  nothing  overtly 
against  the  child,  a  matter  still  more  difficult  just 
then,  inasmuch  as  some  particulars  of  his  discredit- 
able adventures  had  leaked  out,  and  the  Saint-Geran 
family  received  him  more  than  coldly. 

Baulieu,  who  witnessed  every  day  the  tenderness 
of  the  count  and  countess  for  the  boy  Henri,  had 
been  a  hundred  times  on  the  point  of  giving  himself 
up  and  confessing  everything.    He  was  torn  to  pieces 



with  remorse.  Remarks  escaped  him  which  he 
thought  he  might  make  without  ulterior  conse- 
quences, seeing  the  lapse  of  time,  but  they  were 
noted  and  commented  on.  Sometimes  he  would  say- 
that  he  held  in  his  hand  the  life  and  honour  of 
Madame  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille;  sometimes 
that  the  count  and  countess  had  more  reasons  than 
they  knew  of  for  loving  Henri.  One  day  he  put 
a  case  of  conscience  to  a  confessor,  thus :  "  Whether 
a  man  who  had  been  concerned  in  the  abduction  of 
a  child  could  not  satisfy  his  conscience  by  restoring 
him  to  his  father  and  mother  without  telling  them 
who  he  was?"  What  answer  the  confessor  made 
is  not  known,  but  apparently  it  was  not  what  the 
major-domo  wanted.  He  replied  to  a  magistrate  of 
Moulins,  who  congratulated  him  on  having  a  nephew 
whom  his  masters  overburdened  with  kind  treat- 
ment, that  they  ought  to  love  him,  since  he  was 
nearly  related  to  them. 

These  remarks  were  noticed  by  others  than  those 
principally  concerned.  One  day  a  wine  merchant 
came  to  propose  to  Baulieu  the  purchase  of  a  pipe 
of  Spanish  wine,  of  which  he  gave  him  a  sample 
bottle ;  in  the  evening  he  was  taken  violently  ill. 
They  carried  him  to  bed,  where  he  writhed,  uttering 
horrible  cries.  One  sole  thought  possessed  him 
when  his  sufferings  left  him  a  lucid  interval,  and  in 
his  agony  he  repeated  over  and  over  again  that  he 



wished  to  implore  pardon  from  the  count  and 
countess  for  a  great  injury  which  he  had  done  them. 
The  people  round  about  him  told  him  that  was  a 
trifle,  and  that  he  ought  not  to  let  it  embitter 
his  last  moments,  but  he  begged  so  piteously  that 
he  got  them  to  promise  that  they  should  be  sent 

The  count  thought  it  was  some  trifling  irregular- 
ity, some  misappropriation  in  the  house  accounts; 
and  fearing  to  hasten  the  death  of  the  sufferer  by 
the  shame  of  the  confession  of  a  fault,  he  sent  word 
that  he  heartily  forgave  him,  that  he  might  die  tran- 
quil, and  refused  to  see  him.  Baulieu  expired,  taking 
his  secret  with  him.    This  happened  in  1648. 

The  child  was  then  seven  years  old.  His  charm- 
ing manners  grew  with  his  age,  and  the  count  and 
countess  felt  their  love  for  him  increase.  They 
caused  him  to  be  taught  dancing  and  fencing,  put 
him  into  breeches  and  hose,  and  a  page's  suit  of 
their  livery,  in  which  capacity  he  served  them.  The 
marquis  turned  his  attack  to  this  quarter.  He  was 
doubtless  preparing  some  plot  as  criminal  as  the 
preceding,  when  justice  overtook  him  for  some 
other  great  crimes  of  which  he  had  been  guilty.  He 
was  arrested  one  day  in  the  street  when  conversing 
with  one  of  the  Saint-Geran  footmen,  and  taken  to 
the  Conciergerie  of  the  Palace  of  Justice. 

Whether  owing  to  these  occurrences,  or  to 


grounds  for  suspicion  before  mentioned,  certain 
reports  spread  in  the  Bourbonnais  embodying  some 
of  the  real  facts ;  portions  of  them  reached  the  ears 
of  the  count  and  countess,  but  they  had  only  the 
effect  of  renewing  their  grief  without  furnishing  a 
clue  to  the  truth. 

Meanwhile,  the  count  went  to  take  the  waters  at 
Vichy.  The  countess  and  Madame  de  Bouille  fol- 
lowed him,  and  there  they  chanced  to  encounter 
Louise  Goillard,  the  midwife.  This  woman  renewed 
her  acquaintance  with  the  house,  and  in  particular 
often  visited  the  Marchioness  de  Bouille.  One  day 
the  countess,  unexpectedly  entering  the  mar- 
chioness's room,  found  them  both  conversing  in  an 
undertone.  They  stopped  talking  immediately,  and 
appeared  disconcerted. 

The  countess  noticed  this  without  attaching  any 
importance  to  it,  and  asked  the  subject  of  their  con- 

"  Oh,  nothing,"  said  the  marchioness. 

"But  what  is  it?"  insisted  the  countess,  seeing 
that  she  blushed. 

The  marchioness,  no  longer  able  to  evade  the 
question,  and  feeling  her  difficulties  increase, 
replied — 

"  Dame  Louise  is  praising  my  brother  for  bearing 
no  ill-will  to  her." 

H  Why  ?  "  said  the  countess,  turning  to  the  mid- 


wife, — "  why  should  you  fear  any  ill-will  on  the 
part  of  my  husband?  " 

"  I  was  afraid,"  said  Louise  Goillard  awkwardly, 
"  that  he  might  have  taken  a  dislike  to  me  on  account 
of  all  that  happened  when  you  expected  to  be  con- 

The  obscurity  of  these  words  and  embarrassment 
of  the  two  women  produced  a  lively  effect  upon  the 
countess;  but  she  controlled  herself  and  let  the 
subject  drop.  Her  agitation,  however,  did  not 
escape  the  notice  of  the  marchioness,  who  the  next 
day  had  horses  put  to  her  coach  and  retired  to  her 
estate  of  Lavoine.  This  clumsy  proceeding  strength- 
ened suspicion. 

The  first  determination  of  the  countess  was  to 
arrest  Louise  Goillard ;  but  she  saw  that  in  so  serious 
a  matter  every  step  must  be  taken  with  precaution. 
She  consulted  the  count  and  the  countess  dowager. 
They  quietly  summoned  the  midwife,  to  question  her 
without  any  preliminaries.  She  prevaricated  and 
contradicted  herself  over  and  over  again ;  moreover, 
her  state  of  terror  alone  sufficed  to  convict  her  of  a 
crime.  They  handed  her  over  to  the  law,  and  the 
Count  de  Saint-Geran  filed  an  information  before 
the  vice-seneschal  of  Moulins. 

The  midwife  underwent  a  first  interrogatory. 
She  confessed  the  truth  of  the  accouchement,  but  she 
added  that  the  countess  had  given  birth  to  a  still-born 



daughter,  which  she  had  buried  under  a  stone  near 
the  step  of  the  barn  in  the  back  yard.  The  judge, 
accompanied  by  a  physician  and  a  surgeon,  repaired 
to  the  place,  where  he  found  neither  stone,  nor 
foetus,  nor  any  indications  of  an  interment.  They 
searched  unsuccessfully  in  other  places. 

When  the  dowager  countess  heard  this  statement, 
she  demanded  that  this  horrible  woman  should  be 
put  on  her  trial.  The  civil  lieutenant,  in  the  absence 
of  the  criminal  lieutenant,  commenced  the  pro- 

In  a  second  interrogation,  Louise  Goillard  posi- 
tively declared  that  the  countess  had  never  been 
confined ; 

In  a  third,  that  she  had  been  delivered  of  a  mole ; 

In  a  fourth,  that  she  had  been  confined  of  a 
male  infant,  which  Baulieu  had  carried  away  in  a 
basket ; 

And  in  a  fifth,  in  which  she  answered  from  the 
dock,  she  maintained  that  her  evidence  of  the 
countess's  accouchement  had  been  extorted  from 
her  by  violence.  She  made  no  charges  against  either 
Madame  de  Bouille  or  the  Marquis  de  Saint- 
Maixent.  On  the  other  hand,  no  sooner  was  she 
under  lock  and  key  than  she  despatched  her  son 
Guillemin  to  the  marchioness  to  inform  her  that  she 
was  arrested.  The  marchioness  recognised  how 
threatening  things  were,  and  was  in  a  state  of  con- 



sternation;  she  immediately  sent  the  sieur  de  la 
Foresterie,  her  steward,  to  the  lieutenant-general, 
her  counsel,  a  mortal  enemy  of  the  count,  that  he 
might  advise  her  in  this  conjuncture,  and  suggest  a 
means  for  helping  the  matron  without  appearing 
openly  in  the  matter.  The  lieutenant's  advice  was 
to  quash  the  proceedings  and  obtain  an  injunction 
against  the  continuance  of  the  preliminaries  to  the 
action.  The  marchioness  spent  a  large  sum  of 
money,  and  obtained  this  injunction ;  but  it  was 
immediately  reversed,  and  the  bar  to  the  suit 

La  Foresterie  was  then  ordered  to  pass  to  Riom, 
where  the  sisters  Quinet  lived,  and  to  bribe  them 
heavily  to  secrecy.  The  elder  one,  on  leaving  the 
marchioness's  service,  had  shaken  her  fist  in  her 
face,  feeling  secure  with  the  secrets  in  her  knowl- 
edge, and  told  her  that  she  would  repent  having 
dismissed  her  and  her  sister,  and  that  she  would 
make  a  clean  breast  of  the  whole  affair,  even  were 
she  to  be  hung  first.  These  girls  then  sent  word 
that  they  wished  to  enter  her  service  again ;  that  the 
countess  had  promised  them  handsome  terms  if  they 
would  speak ;  and  that  they  had  even  been  questioned 
in  her  name  by  a  Capuchin  superior,  but  that  they 
said  nothing,  in  order  to  give  time  to  prepare  an 
answer  for  them.  The  marchioness  found  herself 
obliged  to  take  back  the  girls ;  she  kept  the  younger, 



and  married  the  elder  to  Delisle,  her  house  steward. 
But  la  Forestrie,  finding  himself  in  this  network 
of  intrigue,  grew  disgusted  at  serving  such  a  mis- 
tress, and  left  her  house.  The  marchioness  told 
him  on  his  departure  that  if  he  were  so  indiscreet  as 
to  repeat  a  word  of  what  he  had  learned  from  the 
Quinet  girls,  she  would  punish  him  with  a  hundred 
poniard  stabs  from  her  major-domo  Delisle.  Hav- 
ing thus  fortified  her  position,  she  thought  herself 
secure  against  any  hostile  steps;  but  it  happened 
that  a  certain  Prudent  Berger,  gentleman  and  page 
to  the  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent,  who  enjoyed  his 
master's  confidence  and  went  -  to  see  him  in  the 
Conciergerie,  where  he  was  imprisoned,  threw  some 
strange  light  on  this  affair.  His  master  had  nar- 
rated to  him  all  the  particulars  of  the  accouchement 
of  the  countess  and  of  the  abduction  of  the  child. 

"  I  am  astonished,  my  lord,"  replied  the  page, 
"  that  having  so  many  dangerous  affairs  on  hand, 
you  did  not  relieve  your  conscience  of  this  one." 

"  I  intend,"  replied  the  marquis,  "  to  restore  this 
child  to  his  father :  I  have  been  ordered  to  do  so  by  a 
Capuchin  to  whom  I  confessed  having  carried  off 
from  the  midst  of  the  family,  without  their  knowing 
it,  a  grandson  of  a  marshal  of  France  and  son  of  a 
governor  of  a  province." 

The  marquis  had  at  that  time  permission  to  go 
out  from  prison  occasionally  on  his  parole.     This 



will  not  surprise  anyone  acquainted  with  the  ideas 
which  prevailed  at  that  period  on  the  honour  of  a 
nobleman,  even  the  greatest  criminal.  The  marquis, 
profiting  by  this  facility,  took  the  page  to  see  a  child 
of  about  seven  years  of  age,  fair  and  with  a  beautiful 

"  Page,"  said  he,  "  look  well  at  this  child,  so  that 
you  may  know  him  again  when  I  shall  send  you  to 
inquire  about  him." 

He  then  informed  him  that  this  was  the  Count  de 
Saint-Geran's  son  whom  he  had  carried  away. 

Information  of  these  matters  coming  to  the  ears 
of  justice,  decisive  proofs  were  hoped  for;  but  this 
happened  just  when  other  criminal  informations 
were  lodged  against  the  marquis,  which  left  him 
helpless  to  prevent  the  exposure  of  his  crimes. 
Police  officers  were  despatched  in  all  haste  to  the 
Conciergerie ;  they  were  stopped  by  the  gaolers,  who 
told  them  that  the  marquis,  feeling  ill,  was  engaged 
with  a  priest  who  was  administering  the  sacraments 
to  him.  As  they  insisted  on  seeing  him,  the  warders 
approached  the  cell :  the  priest  came  out,  crying  that 
persons  must  be  sought  to  whom  the  sick  man  had 
a  secret  to  reveal ;  that  he  was  in  a  desperate  state, 
and  said  he  had  just  poisoned  himself;  all  entered 
the  cell. 

M.  de  Saint-Maixent  was  writhing  on  a  pallet,  in 
a  pitiable  condition,  sometimes  shrieking  like  a  wild 



beast,  sometimes  stammering  disconnected  words. 
All  that  the  officers  could  hear  was — 

"  Monsieur  le  Comte  .  .  .  call  .  .  .  the  Countess 
.  .  .  de  Saint-Geran  ...  let  them  come.  .  .  ." 
The  officers  earnestly  begged  him  to  try  to  be  more 

The  marquis  had  another  fit ;  when  he  opened  his 
eyes,  he  said — 

"  Send  for  the  countess  ...  let  them  forgive  me 
...  I  wish  to  tell  them  everything."  The  police 
officers  asked  him  to  speak;  one  even  told  him  that 
the  count  was  there.  The  marquis  feebly  mur- 

"  I  am  going  to  tell  you "    Then  he  gave  a 

loud  cry  and  fell  back  dead. 

It  thus  seemed  as  if  fate  took  pains  to  close  every 
mouth  from  which  the  truth  might  escape.  Still, 
this  avowal  of  a  deathbed  revelation  to  be  made  to 
the  Count  de  Saint-Geran  and  the  deposition  of  the 
priest  who  had  administered  the  last  sacraments 
formed  a  strong  link  in  the  chain  of  evidence. 

The  judge  of  first  instruction,  collecting  all  the 
information  he  had  got,  made  a  report  the  weight  of 
which  was  overwhelming.  The  carters,  the  nurse, 
the  domestic  servants,  all  gave  accounts  consistent 
with  each  other;  the  route  and  the  various  adven- 
tures of  the  child  were  plainly  detailed,  from  its 
birth  till  its  arrival  at  the  village  of  Descoutoux. 



Justice,  thus  tracing  crime  to  its  sources,  had  no 
option  but  to  issue  a  warrant  for  the  arrest  of  the 
Marchioness  de  Bouille;  but  it  seems  probable  that 
it  was  not  served  owing  to  the  strenuous  efforts  of 
the  Count  de  Saint-Geran,  who  could  not  bring 
himself  to  ruin  his  sister,  seeing  that  her  dishonour 
would  have  been  reflected  on  him.  The  marchioness 
hid  her  remorse  in  solitude,  and  appeared  again  no 
more.  She  died  shortly  after,  carrying  the  weight 
of  her  secret  till  she  drew  her  last  breath. 

The  judge  of  Moulins  at  length  pronounced  sen- 
tence on  the  midwife,  whom  he  declared  arraigned 
and  convicted  of  having  suppressed  the  child  born 
to  the  countess;  for  which  he  condemned  her  to  be 
tortured  and  then  hanged.  The  matron  lodged  an 
appeal  against  this  sentence,  and  the  case  was 
referred  to  the  Conciergerie. 

No  sooner  had  the  count  and  countess  seen  the 
successive  proofs  of  the  procedure,  than  tenderness 
and  natural  feelings  accomplished  the  rest.  They  no 
longer  doubted  that  their  page  was  their  son;  they 
stripped  him  at  once  of  his  livery  and  gave  him  his 
rank  and  prerogatives,  under  the  title  of  the  Count 
de  la  Palice. 

Meanwhile,  a  private  person  named  Sequeville 
informed  the  countess  that  he  had  made  a  very 
important  discovery ;  that  a  child  had  been  baptized 
in   1642  at  St.  Jean-en-Greve,  and  that  a  woman 



named  Marie  Pigoreau  had  taken  a  leading  part  in 
the  affair.  Thereupon  inquiries  were  made,  and  it 
was  discovered  that  this  child  had  been  nursed  in 
the  village  of  Torcy.  The  count  obtained  a  warrant 
which  enabled  him  to  get  evidence  before  the  judge 
of  Torcy;  nothing  was  left  undone  to  elicit  the 
whole  truth;  he  also  obtained  a  warrant  through 
which  he  obtained  more  information,  and  published 
a  monitory.  The  elder  of  the  Quinet  girls  on  this 
told  the  Marquis  de  Canillac  that  the  count  was 
searching  at  a  distance  for  things  very  near  him.  The 
truth  shone  out  with  great  lustre  through  these  new 
facts  which  gushed  from  all  this  fresh  information. 
The  child,  exhibited  in  the  presence  of  a  legal  com- 
missary to  the  nurses  and  witnesses  of  Torcy,  was 
identified,  as  much  by  the  scars  left  by  the  midwife's 
nails  on  his  head,  as  by  his  fair  hair  and  blue  eyes. 
This  ineffaceable  vestige  of  the  woman's  cruelty  was 
the  principal  proof;  the  witnesses  testified  that  la 
Pigoreau,  when  she  visited  this  child  with  a  man 
who  appeared  to  be  of  condition,  always  asserted 
that  he  was  the  son  of  a  great  nobleman  who  had 
been  entrusted  to  her  care,  and  that  she  hoped  he 
would  make  her  fortune  and  that  of  those  who  had 
reared  him. 

The  child's  godfather,  Paul  Marmiou,  a  common 
labourer;  the  grocer  Raguenet,  who  had  charge  of 
the  two  thousand  livres ;  the  servant  of  la  Pigoreau, 



who  had  heard  her  say  that  the  count  was  obliged 
to  take  this  child;  the  witnesses  who  proved  that  la 
Pigoreau  had  told  them  that  the  child  was  too  well 
born  to  wear  a  page's  livery,  all  furnished  convinc- 
ing proofs ;  but  others  were  forthcoming. 

It  was  at  la  Pigoreau's  that  the  Marquis  de  Saint- 
Maixent,  living  then  at  the  hotel  de  Saint-Geran, 
went  to  see  the  child,  kept  in  her  house  as  if  it  were 
hers;  Prudent  Berger,  the  marquis's  page,  perfectly 
well  remembered  la  Pigoreau,  and  also  the  child, 
whom  he  had  seen  at  her  house  and  whose  history 
the  marquis  had  related  to  him.  Finally,  many  other 
witnesses  heard  in  the  course  of  the  case,  both  before 
the  three  chambers  of  nobles,  clergy,  and  the  tiers 
etat,  and  before  the  judges  of  Torcy,  Cusset,  and 
other  local  magistrates,  made  the  facts  so  clear  and 
conclusive  in  favour  of  the  legitimacy  of  the  young 
count,  that  it  was  impossible  to  avoid  impeaching 
the  guilty  parties.  The  count  ordered  the  summons 
in  person  of  la  Pigoreau,  who  had  not  been  com- 
promised in  the  original  preliminary  proceedings. 
This  drastic  measure  threw  the  intriguing  woman 
on  her  beam  ends,  but  she  strove  hard  to  right 

The  widowed  Duchess  de  Ventadour,  daughter  by 
her  mother's  second  marriage  of  the  Countess  dow- 
ager of  Saint-Geran,  and  half-sister  of  the  count, 
and  the  Countess  de  Lude,  daughter  of  the  March- 


ioness  de  Bouille,  from  whom  the  young  count 
carried  .away  the  Saint-Geran  inheritance,  were  very 
warm  in  the  matter,  and  spoke  of  disputing  the  judg- 
ment. La  Pigoreau  went  to  see  them,  and  joined 
in  concert  with  them. 

Then  commenced  this  famous  lawsuit,  which  long 
occupied  all  France,  and  is  parallel  in  some  respects, 
but  not  in  the  time  occupied  in  the  hearing,  to  the 
case  heard  by  Solomon,  in  which  one  child  was 
claimed  by  two  mothers. 

The  Marquis  de  Saint-Maixent  and  Madame  de 
Bouille  being  dead,  were  naturally  no  parties  to  the 
suit,  which  was  fought  against  the  Saint-Geran 
family  by  la  Pigoreau  and  Mesdames  du  Lude  and 
de  Ventadour.  These  ladies  no  doubt  acted  in  good 
faith,  at  first  at  any  rate,  in  refusing  to  believe  the 
crime;  for  if  they  had  originally  known  the  truth  it 
is  incredible  that  they  could  have  fought  the  case  so 
long  and  so  obstinately. 

They  first  of  all  went  to  the  aid  of  the  midwife, 
who  had  fallen  sick  in  prison ;  they  then  consulted 
together,  and  resolved  as  follows : — 

That  the  accused  should  appeal  against  criminal 
proceedings ; 

That  la  Pigoreau  should  lodge  a  civil  petition 
against  the  judgments  which  ordered  her  arrest  and 
the  confronting  of  witnesses; 

That  they  should  appeal  against  the  abuse  of 


obtaining  and  publishing  monitories,  and  lodge  an 
interpleader  against  the  sentence  of  the  judge  of  first 
instruction,  who  had  condemned  the  matron  to 
capital  punishment ; 

And  that  finally,  to  carry  the  war  into  the  enemy's 
camp,  la  Pigoreau  should  impugn  the  maternity  of 
the  countess,  claiming  the  child  as  her  own;  and 
that  the  ladies  should  depose  that  the  countess's 
accouchement  was  an  imposture  invented  to  cause  it 
to  be  supposed  that  she  had  given  birth  to  a  child. 

For  more  safety  and  apparent  absence  of  collusion 
Mesdames  du  Lude  and  de  Ventadour  pretended  to 
have  no  communication  with  la  Pigoreau. 

About  this  time  the  midwife  died  in  prison,  from 
an  illness  which  vexation  and  remorse  had  aggrava- 
ted. After  her  death,  her  son  Guillemin  confessed 
that  she  had  often  told  him  that  the  countess  had 
given  birth  to  a  son  whom  Baulieu  had  carried  off, 
and  that  the  child  entrusted  to  Baulieu  at  the  chateau 
Saint-Gerin  was  the  same  as  the  one  recovered;  the 
youth  added  that  he  had  concealed  this  fact  so  long 
as  it  might  injure  his  mother,  and  he  further  stated 
that  the  ladies  de  Ventadour  and  du  Lude  had  helped 
her  in  prison  with  money  and  advice — another 
strong  piece  of  presumptive  evidence. 

The  petitions  of  the  accused  and  the  interpleadings 
of  Mesdames  du  Lude  and  de  Ventadour  were  dis- 
cussed in  seven  hearings,  before  three  courts  con- 



vened.  The  suit  proceeded  with  all  the  languor  and 
chicanery  of  the  period. 

After  long  and  specious  arguments,  the  attorney- 
general  Bijnon  gave  his  decision  in  favour  of  the 
Count  and  Countess  of  Saint-Geran,  concluding 
thus : — 

"  The  court  rejects  the  civil  appeal  of  la  Pigoreau, 
and  all  the  opposition  and  appeals  of  the  appellants 
and  the  defendants;  condemns  them  to  fine  and  in 
costs;  and  seeing  that  the  charges  against  la  Pigo- 
reau were  of  a  serious  nature,  and  that  a  personal 
summons  had  been  decreed  against  her,  orders  her 
committal,  recommending  her  to  the  indulgence  of 
the  court." 

By  a  judgment  given  in  a  sitting  at  the  Tournelle 
by  M.  de  Mesmes,  on  the  18th  of  August  1657,  the 
appellant  ladies'  and  the  defendants'  opposition  was 
rejected  with  fine  and  costs.  La  Pigoreau  was  for- 
bidden to  leave  the  city  and  suburbs  of  Paris  under 
penalty  of  summary  conviction.  The  judgment  in 
the  case  followed  the  rejection  of  the  appeal. 

This  reverse  at  first  extinguished  the  litigation 
of  Mesdames  du  Lude  and  de  Ventadour,  but  it 
soon  revived  more  briskly  than  ever.  These  ladies, 
who  had  taken  la  Pigoreau  in  their  coach  to  all  the 
hearings,  prompted  her,  in  order  to  procrastinate,  to 
file  a  fresh  petition,  in  which  she  demanded  the 
~.onfrontment  of  all  the  witnesses  to  the  pregnancy 



and  the  confinement.  On  hearing  this  petition,  the 
court  gave  on  the  28th  of  August  1658  a  decree 
ordering  the  conf rontment,  but  on  condition  that  for 
three  days  previously  la  Pigoreau  should  deliver 
herself  a  prisoner  in  the  Conciergerie. 

This  judgment,  the  consequences  of  which  greatly 
alarmed  la  Pigoreau,  produced  such  an  effect  upon 
her  that,  after  having  weighed  the  interest  she  had 
in  the  suit,  which  she  would  lose  by  flight,  against 
the  danger  to  her  life  if  she  ventured  her  person 
into  the  hands  of  justice,  she  abandoned  her  false 
plea  of  maternity,  and  took  refuge  abroad.  This 
last  circumstance  was  a  heavy  blow  to  Mesdames 
du  Lude  and  de  Ventadour;  but  they  were  not  at 
the  end  of  their  resources  and  their  obstinacy. 

Contempt  of  court  being  decreed  against  la 
Pigoreau,  and  the  case  being  got  up  against  the 
other  defendants,  the  Count  de  Saint-Geran  left  for 
the  Bourbonnais,  to  put  in  execution  the  order  to 
confront  the  witnesses.  Scarcely  had  he  arrived 
in  the  province  when  he  was  obliged  to  interrupt 
his  work  to  receive  the  king  and  the  queen  mother, 
who  were  returning  from  Lyons  and  passing 
through  Moulins.  He  presented  the  Count  de  la 
Palice  to  their  Majesties  as  his  son;  they  received 
him  as  such.  But  during  the  visit  of  the  king  and 
queen  the  Count  de  Saint-Geran  fell  ill,  over 
fatigued,  no  doubt,  by  the  trouble  he  had  taken  to 


give  them  a  suitable  reception,  over  and  above  the 
worry  of  his  own  affairs. 

During  his  illness,  which  only  lasted  a  week,  he 
made  in  his  will  a  new  acknowledgment  of  his  son, 
naming  his  executors  M.  de  Barriere,  intendant  of 
the  province,  and  the  sieur  Vialet,  treasurer  of 
France,  desiring  them  to  bring  the  lawsuit  to  an  end. 
His  last  words  were  for  his  wife  and  child;  his  only 
regret  that  he  had  not  been  able  to  terminate  this 
affair.     He  died  on  the  31st  of  January  1659. 

The  maternal  tenderness  of  the  countess  did  not 
need  stimulating  by  the  injunctions  of  her  husband, 
and  she  took  up  the  suit  with  energy.  The  ladies 
de  Ventadour  and  du  Lude  obtained  by  default 
letters  of  administration  as  heiresses  without 
liability,  which  were  granted  out  of  the  Chatelet. 
At  the  same  time  they  appealed  against  the  judgment 
of  the  lieutenant-general  of  the  Bourbonnais,  giving 
the  tutelage  of  the  young  count  to  the  countess  his 
mother,  and  his  guardianship  to  sieur  de  Bompre. 
The  countess,  on  her  side,  interpleaded  an  appeal 
against  the  granting  of  letters  of  administration 
without  liability,  and  did  all  in  her  power  to  bring 
back  the  case  to  the  Tournelle.  The  other  ladies 
carried  their  appeal  to  the  high  court,  pleading  that 
they  were  not  parties  to  the  lawsuit  in  the  Tour- 

It  would  serve  no  purpose  to  follow  the  obscure 


labyrinth  of  legal  procedure  of  that  period,  and  to 
recite  all  the  marches  and  countermarches  which 
legal  subtlety  suggested  to  the  litigants.  At  the 
end  of  three  years,  on  the  9th  of  April  1661,  the 
countess  obtained  a  judgment  by  which  the  king  in 
person — 

"  Assuming  to  his  own  decision  the  civil  suit  pend- 
ing at  the  Toumelle,  as  well  as  the  appeals 
pled  by  both  parties,  and  the  last  petition  of 
Mesdames  du  Lade  and  de  Ventadour,  sends 
back  the  whole  case  to  the  three  assembled 
chambers  of  the  States  General,  to  be  by 
them  decided  on  its  merits  either  jointly  or 
separately,  as  they  may  deem  fit." 

The  countess  thus  returned  to  her  first  battlefield. 
Legal  science  produced  an  immense  quantity  of 
manuscript,  barristers  and  attorneys  greatly  dis- 
tinguishing themselves  in  their  calling.  After  an 
interminable  hearing,  and  pleadings  longer  and 
more  complicated  than  ever,  which  however  did  not 
bamboozle  the  court,  judgment  was  pronounced  in 
conformity  with  the  summing  up  of  the  attorney- 
general,  thus : — 

"  That  passing  over  the  petition  of  Mesdames 
Marie  de  la  Guiche  and  Eleonore  de  Bouille,  on  the 
grounds,"  etc.  etc. ; 



"  Evidence  taken,"  etc. ; 

"Appeals,  judgments  annulled,"  etc.; 

"  With  regard  to  the  petition  of  the  late  Claude  de 
la  Guiche  and  Suzanne  de  Longaunay,  dated  1 2th 
August  1658," 

"  Ordered, 

"  That  the  rule  be  made  absolute ; 

"  Which  being  done,  Bernard  de  la  Guiche  is 
pronounced,  maintained,  and  declared  the  lawfully 
born  and  legitimate  son  of  Claude  de  la  Guiche  and 
Suzanne  de  Longaunay;  in  possession  and  enjoy- 
ment of  the  name  and  arms  of  the  house  of  Guiche, 
and  of  all  the  goods  left  by  Claude  de  la  Guiche,  his 
father;  and  Marie  de  la  Guiche  and  Eleonore  de 
Bouille  are  interdicted  from  interfering  with  him; 

"  The  petitions  of  Eleonore  de  Bouille  and  Marie 
de  la  Guiche,  dated  4th  June  1664,  4th  August 
1665,  6th  January,  10th  February,  12th  March,  15th 
April,  and  2nd  June,  1666,  are  dismissed  with  costs; 

"  Declared, 

"  That  the  defaults  against  la  Pigoreau  are  con- 
firmed; and  that  she,  arraigned  and  convicted  of 
the  offences  imputed  to  her,  is  condemned  to  be  hung 
and  strangled  at  a  gallows  erected  in  the  Place  de 
Greve  in  this  city,  if  taken  and  apprehended;  other- 
wise, in  effigy  at  a  gallows  erected  in  the  Place  de 
Greve  aforesaid;  that  all  her  property  subject  to 
confiscation  is  seized  and  confiscated  from  whom- 



soever  may  be  in  possession  of  it ;  on  which  property 
and  other  not  subject  to  confiscation,  is  levied  a  fine 
of  eight  hundred  Paris  livres,  to  be  paid  to  the  King, 
and  applied  to  the  maintenance  of  prisoners  in  the 
Conciergerie  of  the  Palace  of  Justice,  and  to  the 

Possibly  a  more  obstinate  legal  contest  was  never 
waged,  on  both  sides,  but  especially  by  those  who 
lost  it.  The  countess,  who  played  the  part  of  the 
true  mother  in  the  Bible,  had  the  case  so  much  to 
heart  that  she  often  told  the  judges,  when  pleading 
her  cause,  that  if  her  son  were  not  recognised  as 
such,  she  would  marry  him,  and  convey  all  her 
property  to  him. 

The  young  Count  de  la  Palice  became  Count  de 
Saint-Geran  through  the  death  of  his  father,  mar- 
ried, in  1667,  Claude  Franchise  Madeleine  de  Farig- 
nies,  only  daughter  of  Frangois  de  Monfreville  and 
of  Marguerite  Jourdain  de  Carbone  de  Canisi.  He 
had  only  one  daughter,  born  in  1688,  who  became 
a  nun.  He  died  at  the  age  of  fifty-five  years,  and 
thus  this  illustrious  family  became  extinct. 






ON  the  1 8th  June,  181 5,  at  the  very  moment 
when  the  destiny  of  Europe  was  being 
decided  at  Waterloo,  a  man  dressed  like  a  beggar 
was  silently  following  the  road  from  Toulon  to 

Arrived  at  the  entrance  of  the  Gorge  of  Olli- 
oulles,  he  halted  on  a  little  eminence  from  which  he 
could  see  all  the  surrounding  country;  then  either 
because  he  had  reached  the  end  of  his  journey,  or 
because,  before  attempting  that  forbidding,  sombre 
pass  which  is  called  the  Thermopylae  of  Provence, 
he  wished  to  enjoy  the  magnificent  view  which 
spread  to  the  southern  horizon  a  little  longer,  he 
went  and  sat  down  on  the  edge  of  the  ditch  which 
bordered  the  road,  turning  his  back  on  the  moun- 
tains which  rise  like  an  amphitheatre  to  the  north  of 
the  town,  and  having  at  his  feet  a  rich  plain  cov- 



ered  with  tropical  vegetation,  exotics  of  a  con- 
servatory, trees  and  flowers  quite  unknown  in  any- 
other  part  of  France. 

Beyond  this  plain,  glittering  in  the  last  rays  of 
the  sun,  pale  and  motionless  as  a  mirror  lay  the  sea, 
and  on  the  surface  of  the  water  glided  one  brig-of- 
war,  which,  taking  advantage  of  a  fresh  land 
breeze,  had  all  sails  spread,  and  was  bowling  along 
rapidly,  making  for  Italian  seas.  The  beggar  fol- 
lowed it  eagerly  with  his  eyes  until  it  disappeared 
between  the  Cape  of  Gien  and  the  first  of  the  islands 
of  Hyeres,  then  as  the  white  apparition  vanished  he 
sighed  deeply,  let  his  head  fall  into  his  hands,  and 
remained  motionless  and  absorbed  in  his  reflections, 
until  the  tramplings  of  a  cavalcade  made  him  start ; 
he  looked  up,  shook  back  his  long  black  hair,  as  if 
he  wished  to  get  rid  of  the  gloomy  thoughts  which 
were  overwhelming  him,  and,  lookinsr  at  the  en- 
trance  to  the  gorge  from  whence  the  noise  came, 
he  soon  saw  two  riders  appear,  who  were  no  doubt 
well  known  to  him,  for,  drawing  himself  up  to  his 
full  height,  he  let  fall  the  stick  he  was  carrying,  and 
folding  his  arms  he  turned  towards  them.  On  their 
side  the  new-comers  had  hardly  seen  him  before 
they  halted,  and  the  foremost  dismounted,  threw  his 
bridle  to  his  companion,  and  uncovering,  though 
fifty  paces  from  the  man  in  rags,  advanced  respect- 
fully towards   him.      The   beggar  allowed   him  to 



approach  with  an  air  of  sombre  dignity  and  without 
a  single  movement ;  then,  when  he  was  quite  near — 

"Well,  marshal,  have  you  news  for  me?"  said 
the  beggar. 

"  Yes,  sire,"  said  the  other  sadly. 

"And  what  are  they?" 

"  Such  that  I  could  wish  it  were  anyone  but  my- 
self to  announce  them  to  your  Majesty " 

"  So  the  Emperor  refuses  my  services !  He  for- 
gets the  victories  of  Aboukir,  Eylau,  and  Moscow?" 

"  No,  sire ;  but  he  remembers  the  treaty  of 
Naples,  the  taking  of  Reggio,  and  the  declaration 
of  war  of  the  viceroy  of  Italy." 

The  beggar  struck  his  forehead. 

"  Yes,  yes !  I  daresay  he  thinks  I  deserve  his 
reproaches,  and  yet  it  seems  to  me  that  he  ought  to 
remember  that  there  are  two  men  in  me — the  soldier 
whom  he  made  his  brother,  and  the  brother  whom 
he  made  a  king.  .  .  .  Yes,  as  brother  I  have 
treated  him  ill — very  ill,  but  as  king,  upon  my  soul, 
I  could  not  have  acted  differently.  ...  I  had  to 
choose  between  my  sword  and  my  crown,  and 
between  a  regiment  and  a  people.  Listen,  Brune : 
you  do  not  know  how  it  all  happened.  There  was 
an  English  fleet,  the  guns  of  which  were  growling 
in  the  port,  there  was  a  Neapolitan  population  howl- 
ing in  the  streets.  If  I  had  been  alone,  I  would  have 
passed  through  the  fleet  with  one  boat,  through  the 



crowd  with  my  sword  alone,  but  I  had  a  wife  and 
children.  Yet  I  hesitated;  the  idea  of  being  called 
traitor  and  deserter  caused  me  to  shed  more  tears 
than  the  loss  of  my  throne,  or  perhaps  the  death 
of  those  I  love  best,  will  ever  wring  from  me.  .  .  . 
And  so  he  will  have  nothing-  more  to  do  with  me? 
He  refuses  me  as  general,  captain,  private?  Then 
what  is  left  for  me  to  do?  " 

"  Sire,  your  Majesty  must  leave  France  imme- 

"And  if  I  don't  obey?" 

"  My  orders  are  to  arrest  you  and  deliver  you  up 
to  a  court-martial!" 

"  Old  comrade,  you  will  not  do  that?  " 

"  I  shall  do  it,  praying  God  to  strike  me  dead 
in  the  moment  I  lay  hands  on  you !  " 

"  That's  you  all  over,  Brune.  You  have  been 
able  to  remain  a  good,  loyal  fellow.  He  did  not 
give  you  a  kingdom,  he  did  not  encircle  your  brow 
with  a  band  of  iron  which  men  call  a  crown  and 
which  drives  one  mad ;  he  did  not  place  you  between 
your  conscience  and  your  family.  So  I  must  leave 
France,  begin  my  vagabond  life  again,  and  say 
farewell  to  Toulon,  which  recalls  so  many  memories 
to  me!  See,  Brune,"  continued  Murat,  leaning  on 
the  arm  of  the  marshal,  "  are  not  the  pines  yonder 
as  fine  as  any  at  the  Villa  Pamfili,  the  palms  as 
imposing  as  any  at  Cairo,  the  mountains  as  grand 



as  any  range  in  the  Tyrol?  Look  to  your  left,  is 
not  Cape  Gien  something  like  Castellamare  and 
Sorrento — leaving  out  Vesuvius?  And  see,  Saint- 
Mandrier  at  the  farthest  point  of  the  gulf,  is  it  not 
like  my  rock  of  Capri,  which  Lamarque  juggled 
away  so  cleverly  from  that  idiot  of  a  Sir  Hudson 
Lowe?  My  God!  and  I  must  leave  all  this!  Is 
there  no  way  of  remaining  on  this  little  corner  of 
French  ground — tell  me,  Brune !  " 

"  You'll  break  my  heart,  sire !  "  answered  the 

"  Well,  we'll  say  no  more  about  it.  What 
news  ?" 

"  The  Emperor  has  left  Paris  to  join  the  army. 
They  must  be  fighting  now " 

"  Fighting  now  and  I  not  there !  Oh,  I  feel  I 
could  have  been  of  use  to  him  on  this  battlefield. 
How  I  would  have  gloried  in  charging  those  mis- 
erable Prussians  and  dastardly  English!  Brune, 
give  me  a  passport,  I'll  go  at  full  speed,  I'll  reach 
the  army,  I  will  make  myself  known  to  some  colonel, 
I  shall  say,  '  Give  me  your  regiment.'  I'll  charge 
at  its  head,  and  if  the  Emperor  does  not  clasp  my 
hand  to-night,  I'll  blow  my  brains  out,  I  swear  I 
will.  Do  what  I  ask,  Brune,  and  however  it  may 
end,  my  eternal  gratitude  will  be  yours !  " 

"  I  cannot,  sire." 

"  Well,  well,  say  no  more  about  it." 


"And  your  Majesty  is  going  to  leave  France?" 

"  I  don't  know.  Obey  your  orders,  marshal,  and 
if  you  come  across  me  again,  have  me  arrested. 
That's  another  way  of  doing  something  for  me. 
Life  is  a  heavy  burden  nowadays.  He  who  will 
relieve  me  of  it  will  be  welcome.  .  .  .  Good-bye, 

He  held  out  his  hand  to  the  marshal,  who  tried 
to  kiss  it;  but  Murat  opened  his  arms,  the  two  old 
comrades  held  each  other  fast  for  a  moment,  with 
swelling  hearts  and  eyes  full  of  tears ;  then  at  last 
they  parted.  Brune  remounted  his  horse,  Murat 
picked  up  his  stick  again,  and  the  two  men  went 
away  in  opposite  directions,  one  to  meet  his  death 
by  assassination  at  Avignon,  the  other  to  be  shot 
at  Pizzo.  Meanwhile,  like  Richard  in,  Napoleon 
was  bartering  his  crown  against  a  horse  at  Water- 

After  the  interview  that  has  just  been  related, 
Murat  took  refuge  with  his  nephew,  who  was  called 
Bonafoux,  and  who  was  captain  of  a  frigate;  but 
this  retreat  could  only  be  temporary,  for  the  rela- 
tionship would  inevitably  awake  the  suspicions  of 
the  authorities.  In  consequence,  Bonafoux  set 
about  finding  a  more  secret  place  of  refuge  for  his 
uncle.  He  hit  on  one  of  his  friends,  an  avocat,  a 
man  famed  for  his  integrity,  and  that  very  evening 
Bonafoux  went  to  see  him. 


After  chatting  on  general  subjects,  he  asked  his 
friend  if  he  had  not  a  house  at  the  seaside,  and 
receiving  an  affirmative  answer,  he  invited  himself 
to  breakfast  there  the  next  day ;  the  proposal  natur- 
ally enough  was  agreed  to  with  pleasure.  The 
next  day  at  the  appointed  hour  Bonafoux  arrived 
at  Bonette,  which  was  the  name  of  the  country 
house  where  M.  Marouin's  wife  and  daughter  were 
staying.  M.  Marouin  himself  was  kept  by  his  work 
at  Toulon.  After  the  ordinary  greetings,  Bonafoux 
stepped  to  the  window,  beckoning  to  Marouin  to 
rejoin  him. 

"  I  thought,"  he  said  uneasily,  "  that  your  house 
was  by  the  sea." 

"  We  are  hardly  ten  minutes'  walk  from  it." 

"But  it  is  not  in  sight." 

"  That  hill  prevents  you  from  seeing  it." 

"  May  we  go  for  a  stroll  on  the  beach  before 
breakfast  is  served?" 

"  By  all  means.  Well,  your  horse  is  still  saddled. 
I  will  order  mine — I  will  come  back  for  you." 

Marouin  went  out.     Bonafoux  remained  at  the 

window,  absorbed  in  his  thoughts.     The  ladies  of 

the  house,  occupied  in  preparations  for  the  meal, 

did  not  observe,  or  did  not  appear  to  observe,  his 

preoccupation.    In  five  minutes  Marouin  came  back. 

He  was  ready  to  start.    The  avocat  and  his  friend 

mounted  their  horses  and  rode  quickly  down  to  the 

10— Dumas— Vol.  7 


sea.  On  the  beach  the  captain  slackened  his  pace, 
and  riding  along  the  shore  for  about  half  an  hour, 
he  seemed  to  be  examining  the  bearings  of  the  coast 
with  great  attention.  Marouin  followed  without 
inquiring  into  his  investigations,  which  seemed 
natural  enough  for  a  naval  officer. 

After  about  an  hour  the  two  men  went  back  to 
the  house. 

Marouin  wished  to  have  the  horses  unsaddled, 
but  Bonafoux  objected,  saying  that  he  must  go  back 
to  Toulon  immediately  after  lunch.  Indeed,  the 
coffee  was  hardly  finished  before  he  rose  and  took 
leave  of  his  hosts.  Marouin,  called  back  to  town 
by  his  work,  mounted  his  horse  too,  and  the  two 
friends  rode  back  to  Toulon  together.  After  riding 
along  for  ten  minutes,  Bonafoux  went  close  to  his 
companion  and  touched  him  on  the  thigh — 

"  Marouin,"  he  said,  "  I  have  an  important  secret 
to  confide  to  you." 

"  Speak,  captain.  After  a  father  confessor,  you 
know  there  is  no  one  so  discreet  as  a  notary,  and 
after  a  notary  an  avocat." 

"  You  can  quite  understand  that  I  did  not  come 
to  your  country  house  just  for  the  pleasure  of  the 
ride.  A  more  important  object,  a  serious  responsi- 
bility, preoccupied  me;  I  have  chosen  you  out  of  all 
my  friends,  believing  that  you  were  devoted  enough 
to  me  to  render  me  a  great  service." 



"  You  did  well,  captain." 

"  Let  us  go  straight  to  the  point,  as  men  who 
respect  and  trust  each  other  should  do.  My  uncle, 
King  Joachim,  is  proscribed,  he  has  taken  refuge 
with  me;  but  he  cannot  remain  there,  for  I  am  the 
first  person  they  will  suspect.  Your  house  is  in  an 
isolated  position,  and  consequently  we  could  not  find 
a  better  retreat  for  him.  You  must  put  it  at  our 
disposal  until  events  enable  the  king  to  come  to 
some  decision." 

"  It  is  at  your  service,"  said  Marouin. 

"  Right.     My  uncle  shall  sleep  there  to-night." 

"  But  at  least  give  me  time  to  make  some  prepara- 
tions worthy  of  my  royal  guest." 

"  My  poor  Marouin,  you  are  giving  yourself 
unnecessary  trouble,  and  making  a  vexatious  delay 
for  us.  King  Joachim  is  no  longer  accustomed  to 
palaces  and  courtiers ;  he  is  only  too  happy  nowadays 
to  find  a  cottage  with  a  friend  in  it ;  besides,  I  have 
let  him  know  about  it,  so  sure  was  I  of  your  answer. 
He  is  counting  on  sleeping  at  your  house  to-night, 
and  if  I  try  to  change  his  determination  now  he  will 
see  a  refusal  in  what  is  only  a  postponement,  and 
you  will  lose  all  the  credit  for  your  generous  and 
noble  action.  There — it  is  agreed :  to-night  at  ten 
at  the  Champs  de  Mars." 

With  these  words  the  captain  put  his  horse  to  a 
gallop  and  disappeared.     Marouin  turned  his  horse 



and  went  back  to  his  country  house  to  give  the 
necessary  orders  for  the  reception  of  a  stranger 
whose  name  he  did  not  mention. 

At  ten  o'clock  at  night,  as  had  been  agreed,  Mar- 
ouin  was  on  the  Champs  de  Mars,  then  covered  with 
Marshal  Brune's  field-artillery.  No  one  had  arrived 
yet.  He  walked  up  and  down  between  the  gun- 
carriages  until  a  functionary  came  to  ask  what  he 
was  doing.  He  was  hard  put  to  it  to  find  an  answer: 
a  man  is  hardly  likely  to  be  wandering  about  in  an 
artillery  park  at  ten  o'clock  at  night  for  the  mere 
pleasure  of  the  thing.  He  asked  to  see  the  com- 
manding officer.  The  officer  came  up:  M.  Marouin 
informed  him  that  he  was  an  avocat,  attached  to 
the  law  courts  of  Toulon,  and  told  him  that  he  had 
arranged  to  meet  someone  on  the  Champs  de  Mars, 
not  knowing  that  it  was  prohibited,  and  that  he  was 
still  waiting  for  that  person.  After  this  explana- 
tion, the  officer  authorised  him  to  remain,  and  went 
back  to  his  quarters.  The  sentinel,  a  faithful  adher- 
ent to  discipline,  continued  to  pace  up  and  down  with 
his  measured  step,  without  troubling  any  more 
about  the  stranger's  presence. 

A  few  moments  later  a  group  of  several  persons 
appeared  from  the  direction  of  Les  Lices.  The 
night  was  magnificent,  and  the  moon  brilliant. 
Marouin  recognised  Bonafoux,  and  went  up  to  him. 
The  captain  at  once  took  him  by  the  hand  and  led 



him  to  the  king-,  and  speaking-  in  turn  to  each  of 
them — 

"  Sire,"  he  said,  "  here  is  the  friend  I  told  you 

Then  turning  to  Marouin — 

"  Here,"  he  said,  "  is  the  King  of  Naples,  exile 
and  fugitive,  whom  I  confide  to  your  care.  I  do 
not  speak  of  the  possibility  that  some  day  he  may 
get  back  his  crown,  that  would  deprive  you  of  the 
credit  of  your  fine  action.  .  .  .  Now,  be  his  guide 
— we  will  follow  at  a  distance.     March !  " 

The  king  and  the  lawyer  set  out  at  once  together. 
Murat  was  dressed  in  a  blue  coat — semi-military, 
semi-civil,  buttoned  to  the  throat;  he  wore  white 
trousers  and  top  boots  with  spurs ;  he  had  long  hair, 
moustache,  and  thick  whiskers,  which  would  reach 
round  his  neck. 

As  they  rode  along  he  questioned  his  host  about 
the  situation  of  his  country  house  and  the  facility 
for  reaching  the  sea  in  case  of  a  surprise.  Towards 
midnight  the  king  and  Marouin  arrived  at  Bonette ; 
the  royal  suite  came  up  in  about  ten  minutes ;  it  con- 
sisted of  about  thirty  individuals.  After  partaking 
of  some  light  refreshment,  this  little  troop,  the  last 
of  the  court  of  the  deposed  king,  retired  to  disperse 
in  the  town  and  its  environs,  and  Murat  remained 
alone  with  the  women,  only  keeping  one  valet  named 



Murat  stayed  nearly  a  month  in  this  retirement, 
spending  all  his  time  in  answering  the  newspapers 
which  accused  him  of  treason  to  the  Emperor.  This 
accusation  was  his  absorbing  idea,  a  phantom,  a 
spectre  to  him;  day  and  night  he  tried  to  shake  it 
off,  seeking  in  the  difficult  position  in  which  he  had 
found  himself  all  the  reasons  which  it  might  offer 
him  for  acting  as  he  had  acted.  Meanwhile  the  ter- 
rible news  of  the  defeat  at  Waterloo  had  spread 
abroad.  The  Emperor  who  had  exiled  him  was 
an  exile  himself,  and  he  was  waiting  at  Rochefort, 
like  Murat  at  Toulon,  to  hear  what  his  enemies 
would  decide  against  him.  No  one  knows  to 
this  day  what  inward  prompting  Napoleon  obeyed 
when,  rejecting  the  counsels  of  General  Lalle~ 
mande  and  the  devotion  of  Captain  Bodin,  he 
preferred  England  to  America,  and  went  like  a 
modern  Prometheus  to  be  chained  to  the  rock  of 
St.  Helena. 

We  are  going  to  relate  the  fortuitous  circum- 
stance which  led  Murat  to  the  moat  of  Pizzo,  then 
we  will  leave  it  to  fatalists  to  draw  from  this  strange 
story  whatever  philosophical  deduction  may  please 
them.  We,  as  humble  annalists,  can  only  vouch  for 
the  truth  of  the  facts  we  have  already  related  and  of 
those  which  will  follow. 

King  Louis  xviii  remounted  his  throne,  conse- 
quently Murat  lost  all  hope  of  remaining  in  France; 



he  felt  he  was  bound  to  go.  His  nephew  Bonafoux 
fitted  out  a  frigate  for  the  United  States  under  the 
name  of  Prince  Rocca  Romana.  The  whole  suite 
went  on  board,  and  they  began  to  carry  on  to  the 
boat  all  the  valuables  which  the  exile  had  been  able 
to  save  from  the  shipwreck  of  his  kingdom.  First 
a  bag  of  gold  weighing  nearly  a  hundred  pounds, 
a  sword-sheath  on  which  were  the  portraits  of  the 
king,  the  queen,  and  their  children,  the  deed  of  the 
civil  estates  of  his  family  bound  in  velvet  and 
adorned  with  his  arms.  Murat  carried  on  his  per- 
son a  belt  where  some  precious  papers  were  con- 
cealed, with  about  a  score  of  unmounted  diamonds, 
which  he  estimated  himself  to  be  worth  four 

When  all  these  preparations  for  departing 
were  accomplished,  it  was  agreed  that  the  next 
day,  the  ist  of  August,  at  five  o'clock,  a  boat 
should  fetch  the  king  to  the  brig  from  a  little 
bay,  ten  minutes'  walk  from  the  house  where 
he  was  staying.  The  king  spent  the  night  mak- 
ing out  a  route  for  M.  Marouin  by  which  he 
could  reach  the  queen,  who  was  then  in  Austria, 
I  think. 

It  was  finished  just  as  it  was  time  to  leave,  and 
on  crossing  the  threshold  of  the  hospitable  house 
where  he  had  found  refuge  he  gave  it  to  his  host, 
slipped  into  a  volume  of  a  pocket  edition  of  Vol- 

241 1 


taire.    Below  the  story  of  Micromegas  the  king  had 
written  :x — 

"  Reassure  yourself,  dear  Caroline;  although  un- 
happy, I  am  free.  I  am  departing,  but  I  do  not 
know  whither  I  am  bound.  Wherever  I  may  be  my 
heart  will  be  with  you  and  my  children.    "  J.  M." 

Ten  minutes  later  Murat  and  his  host  were  wait- 
ing: on  the  beach  at  Bonette  for  the  boat  which  was 
to  take  them  out  to  the  ship. 

They  waited  until  midday,  and  nothing  appeared ; 
and  yet  on  the  horizon  they  could  see  the  brig  which 
was  to  be  his  refuge,  unable  to  lie  at  anchor  on 
account  of  the  depth  of  water,  sailing  along  the 
coast  at  the  risk  of  giving  the  alarm  to  the  sentinels. 

At  midday  the  king,  worn  out  with  fatigue  and 
the  heat  of  the  sun,  was  lying  on  the  beach,  when  a 
servant  arrived,  bringing  various  refreshments, 
which  Madame  Marouin,  being  very  uneasy,  had 
sent  at  all  hazards  to  her  husband.  The  king  took  a 
glass  of  wine  and  water  and  ate  an  orange,  and  got 
up  for  a  moment  to  see  whether  the  boat  he  was 
expecting  was  nowhere  visible  on  the  vastness  of 
the  sea.  There  was  not  a  boat  in  sight,  only  the 
brig  tossing  gracefully  on  the  horizon,  impatient 
to  be  off,  like  a  horse  awaiting  its  master. 

The  king  sighed  and  lay  down  again  on  the  sand. 

'The  volume  is  still  in  the  hands  of  M.  Marouin,  at 



The  servant  went  back  to  Bonette  with  a  message 
summoning  M.  Marouin's  brother  to  the  beach.  He 
arrived  in  a  few  minutes,  and  almost  immediately 
afterwards  galloped  off  at  full  speed  to  Toulon,  in 
order  to  find  out  from  M.  Bonafoux  why  the  boat 
had  not  been  sent  to  the  king.  On  reaching  the 
captain's  house,  he  found  it  occupied  by  an  armed 
force.     They  were  making  a  search  for  Murat. 

The  messenger  at  last  made  his  way  through  the 
tumult  to  the  person  he  was  in  search  of,  and  he 
heard  that  the  boat  had  started  at  the  appointed 
time,  and  that  it  must  have  gone  astray  in  the  creeks 
of  Saint  Louis  and  Sainte  Marguerite.  This  was, 
in  fact,  exactly  what  had  happened. 

By  five  o'clock  M.  Marouin  had  reported  the 
news  to  his  brother  and  the  king.  It  was  bad  news. 
The  king  had  no  courage  left  to  defend  his  life  even 
by  flight,  he  was  in  a  state  of  prostration  which 
sometimes  overwhelms  the  strongest  of  men,  incap- 
able of  making  any  plan  for  his  own  safety,  and 
leaving  M.  Marouin  to  do  the  best  he  could.  Just 
then  a  fisherman  was  coming  into  harbour  singing. 
Marouin  beckoned  to  him,  and  he  came  up. 

Marouin  began  by  buying  all  the  man's  fish ;  then, 
when  he  had  paid  him  with  a  few  coins,  he  let  some 
gold  glitter  before  his  eyes,  and  offered  him  three 
louis  if  he  would  take  a  passenger  to  the  brig  which 
was  lying  off  the  Croix-des-Signaux.     The  fisher- 



man  agreed  to  do  it.  This  chance  of  escape  gave 
back  Murat  all  his  strength ;  he  got  up,  embraced 
Marouin,  and  begged  him  to  go  to  the  queen  with 
the  volume  of  Voltaire.  Then  he  sprang  into  the 
boat,  which  instantly  left  the  shore. 

It  was  already  some  distance  from  the  land  when 
the  king  stopped  the  man  who  was  rowing  and 
signed  to  Marouin  that  he  had  forgotten  something. 
On  the  beach  lay  a  bag  into  which  Murat  had  put  a 
magnificent  pair  of  pistols  mounted  with  silver  gilt 
which  the  queen  had  given  him,  and  which  he  set 
great  store  on.  As  soon  as  he  was  within  hearing 
he  shouted  his  reason  for  returning  to  his  host. 
Marouin  seized  the  valise,  and  without  waiting  for 
Murat  to  land  he  threw  it  into  the  boat;  the  bag 
flew  open,  and  one  of  the  pistols  fell  out.  The 
fisherman  only  glanced  once  at  the  royal  weapon, 
but  it  was  enough  to  make  him  notice  its  richness 
and  to  arouse  his  suspicions.  Nevertheless,  he  went 
on  rowing  towards  the  frigate.  M.  Marouin  seeing 
him  disappear  in  the  distance,  left  his  brother  on  the 
beach,  and  bowing  once  more  to  the  king,  returned 
to  the  house  to  calm  his  wife's  anxieties  and  to  take 
the  repose  of  which  he  was  in  much  need. 

Two  hours  later  he  was  awakened.  His  house 
was  to  be  searched  in  its  turn  by  soldiers.  They 
searched  every  nook  and  corner  without  finding  a 
trace  of  the  king.    Just  as  they  were  getting  desper- 



ate,  the  brother  came  in;  Marouin  smiled  at  him, 
believing  the  king  to  be  safe,  but  by  the  new-comer's 
expression  he  saw  that  some  fresh  misfortune  was 
in  the  wind.  In  the  first  moment's  respite  given  him 
by  his  visitors  he  went  up  to  his  brother. 

"  Well,"  he  said,  "  I  hope  the  king  is  on  board?  " 

"  The  king  is  fifty  yards  away,  hidden  in  the  out- 

"  Why  did  he  come  back  ?  " 

"  The  fisherman  pretended  he  was  afraid  of  a 
sudden  squall,  and  refused  to  take  him  off  to  the 

"The  scoundrel!" 

The  soldiers  came  in  again. 

They  spent  the  night  in  fruitless  searching  about 
the  house  and  buildings;  several  times  they  passed 
within  a  few  steps  of  the  king,  and  he  could  hear 
their  threats  and  imprecations.  At  last,  half  an 
hour  before  dawn,  they  went  away.  Marouin 
watched  them  go,  and  when  they  were  out  of  sight 
he  ran  to  the  king.  He  found  him  lying  in  a  cor- 
ner, a  pistol  clutched  in  each  hand.  The  unhappy 
man  had  been  overcome  by  fatigue  and  had  fallen 
asleep.  Marouin  hesitated  a  moment  to  bring  him 
back  to  his  wandering,  tormented  life,  but  there  was 
not  a  minute  to  lose.    He  woke  him. 

They  went  down  to  the  beach  at  once.  A  morn- 
ing mist  lay  over  the  sea.    They  could  not  see  any- 



thing  two  hundred  yards  ahead.  They  were  obliged 
to  wait.  At  last  the  first  sunbeams  began  to  pierce 
this  nocturnal  mist.  It  slowly  dispersed,  gliding 
over  the  sea  as  clouds  move  in  the  sky.  The  king's 
hungry  eye  roved  over  the  tossing  waters  before 
him,  but  he  saw  nothing,  yet  he  could  not  banish 
the  hope  that  somewhere  behind  that  moving  cur- 
tain he  would  find  his  refuge.  Little  by  little  the 
horizon  came  into  view ;  light  wreaths  of  mist,  like 
smoke,  still  floated  about  the  surface  of  the  water, 
and  in  each  of  them  the  king  thought  he  recog- 
nised the  white  sails  of  his  vessel.  The  last  grad- 
ually vanished,  the  sea  was  revealed  in  all  its  im- 
mensity, it  was  deserted.  Not  daring  to  delay  any 
longer,  the  ship  had  sailed  away  in  the  night. 

"  So,"  said  the  king,  "  the  die  is  cast.  I  will  go 
to  Corsica." 

The  same  day  Marshal  Brune  was  assassinated 
at  Avignon. 




ONCE  more  on  the  same  beach  at  Bonette,  in 
the  same  bay  where  he  had  awaited  the  boat 
in  vain,  still  attended  by  his  band  of  faithful  fol- 
lowers, we  find  Murat  on  the  22nd  August  in  the 
same  year.  It  was  no  longer  by  Napoleon  that  he 
was  threatened,  it  was  by  Louis  xviii  that  he  was 
proscribed ;  it  was  no  longer  the  military  loyalty  of 
Marshal  Brune  who  came  with  tears  in  his  eyes  to 
give  notice  of  the  orders  he  had  received,  but  the 
ungrateful  hatred  of  M.  de  Riviere,  who  had  set  a 
price1  on  the  head  of  the  man  who  had  saved  his 
own.2  M.  de  Riviere  had  indeed  written  to  the  ex- 
King  of  Naples  advising  him  to  abandon  himself  to 
the  good  faith  and  humanity  of  the  King  of  France, 
but  his  vague  invitation  had  not  seemed  sufficient 
guarantee  to  the  outlaw,  especially  on  the  part  of 
one  who  had  allowed  the  assassination  almost  before 
his  eyes  of  a  man  who  carried  a  safe-conduct  signed 
by  himself.  Murat  knew  of  the  massacre  of  the 
1 48,000   francs.  :  Conspiracy   of   Pichegru. 



Mamelukes  at  Marseilles,  the  assassination  of  Brune 
at  Avignon;  he  had  been  warned  the  day  before  by 
the  police  of  Toulon  that  a  formal  order  for  his 
arrest  was  out ;  thus  it  was  impossible  that  he  should 
remain  any  longer  in  France.  Corsica,  with  its 
hospitable  towns,  its  friendly  mountains,  its  impene- 
trable forests,  was  hardly  fifty  leagues  distant;  he 
must  reach  Corsica,  and  wait  in  its  towns,  moun- 
tains, and  forests  until  the  crowned  heads  of  Europe 
should  decide  the  fate  of  the  man  they  had  called 
brother  for  seven  years. 

At  ten  o'clock  at  night  the  king  went  down  to 
the  shore.  The  boat  which  was  to  take  him  across 
had  not  reached  the  rendezvous,  but  this  time  there 
was  not  the  slightest  fear  that  it  would  fail;  the 
bay  had  been  reconnoitred  during  the  day  by  three 
men  devoted  to  the  fallen  fortunes  of  the  king — 
Messieurs  Blancard,  Langlade,  and  Donadieu,  all 
three  naval  officers,  men  of  ability  and  warm  heart, 
who  had  sworn  by  their  own  lives  to  convey  Murat 
to  Corsica,  and  who  were  in  fact  risking  their  lives 
in  order  to  accomplish  their  promise.  Murat  saw 
the  deserted  shore  without  uneasiness,  indeed  this 
delay  afforded  him  a  few  more  moments  of  patriotic 

On  this  little  patch  of  land,  this  strip  of  sand,  the 
unhappy  exile  clung  to  his  mother  France,  for  once 
his  foot  touched  the  vessel  which  was  to  carry  him 



away,  his  separation  from  France  would  be  long,  if 
not  eternal.  He  started  suddenly  amidst  these 
thoughts  and  sighed:  he  had  just  perceived  a  sail 
gliding  over  the  waves  like  a  phantom  through  the 
transparent  darkness  of  the  southern  night.  Then 
a  sailor's  song  was  heard;  Murat  recognised  the 
appointed  signal,  and  answered  it  by  burning  the 
priming  of  a  pistol,  and  the  boat  immediately  ran 
inshore;  but  as  she  drew  three  feet  of  water,  she  was 
obliged  to  stop  ten  or  twelve  feet  from  the  beach; 
two  men  dashed  into  the  water  and  reached  the 
beach,  while  a  third  remained  crouching  in  the  stern- 
sheets  wrapped  in  his  boat-cloak. 

"  Well,  my  good  friends,"  said  the  king,  going 
towards  Blancard  and  Langlade  until  he  felt  the 
waves  wet  his  feet  the  moment  is  come,  is  it  not  ? 
The  wind  is  favourable,  the  sea  calm,  we  must  get 
to  sea." 

"  Yes,  answered  Langlade,  "  yes,  we  must  start ; 
and  yet  perhaps  it  would  be  wiser  to  wait  till 

"Why?"  asked  Murat. 

Langlade  did  not  answer,  but  turning  towards 
the  west,  he  raised  his  hand,  and  according  to  the 
habit  of  sailors,  he  whistled  to  call  the  wind. 

"  That's  no  good,"  said  Donadieu,  who  had 
remained  in  the  boat.  "  Here  are  the  first  gusts ; 
you  will  have  more  than  you  know  what  to  do  with 



in  a  minute.  .  .  .  Take  care,  Langlade,  take  care! 
Sometimes  in  calling  the  wind  you  wake  up  a 

Murat  started,  for  he  thought  that  this  warning 
which  rose  from  the  sea  had  been  given  him  by  the 
spirit  of  the  waters;  but  the  impression  was  a  pass- 
ing one,  and  he  recovered  himself  in  a  moment. 

"All  the  better,"  he  said;  "the  more  wind  we 
have,  the  faster  we  shall  go." 

"  Yes,"  answered  Langlade,  "  but  God  knows 
where  it  will  take  us  if  it  goes  on  shifting  like  this." 

"  Don't  start  to-night,  sire,"  said  Blancard,  add- 
ing his  voice  to  those  of  his  two  companions. 

"But  why  not?" 

"  You  see  that  bank  of  black  cloud  there,  don't 
you?  Well,  at  sunset  it  was  hardly  visible,  now  it 
covers  a  good  part  of  the  sky,  in  an  hour  there  won't 
be  a  star  to  be  seen." 

"  Are  you  afraid?  "  asked  Murat. 

"Afraid!  "  answered  Langlade.  "  Of  what?  Of 
the  storm?  I  might  as  well  ask  if  your  Majesty  is 
afraid  of  a  cannon-ball.  We  have  demurred  solely 
on  your  account,  sire;  do  you  think  sea-dogs  like 
ourselves  would  delay  on  account  of  the  storm?  " 

"  Then  let  us  go !  "  cried  Murat,  with  a  sigh. 

"  Good-bye,  Marouin.  .  .  .  God  alone  can  reward 
you  for  what  you  have  done  for  me.  I  am  at  your 
orders,  gentlemen." 



At  these  words  the  two  sailors  seized  the  king 
and  hoisted  him  on  to  their  shoulders,  and  carried 
him  into  the  sea;  in  another  moment  he  was  on 
board.  Langlade  and  Blancard  sprang  in  behind 
him.  Donadieu  remained  at  the  helm,  the  two  other 
officers  undertook  the  management  of  the  boat,  and 
began  their  work  by  unfurling  the  sails.  Imme- 
diately the  pinnace  seemed  to  rouse  herself  like  a 
horse  at  touch  of  the  spur ;  the  sailors  cast  a  careless 
glance  back,  and  Murat  feeling  that  they  were  sail- 
ing away,  turned  towards  his  host  and  called  for  a 
last  time — 

"  You  have  your  route  as  far  as  Trieste.  Do  not 
forget  my  wife!  .  .  .  Good-bye — good-bye !" 

"  God  keep  you,  sire !  "  murmured  Marouin. 

And  for  some  time,  thanks  to  the  white  sail  which 
gleamed  through  the  darkness,  he  could  follow  with 
his  eyes  the  boat  which  was  rapidly  disappearing; 
at  last  it  vanished  altogether.  Marouin  lingered  on 
the  shore,  though  he  could  see  nothing;  then  he 
heard  a  cry,  made  faint  by  the  distance;  it  was 
Murat's  last  adieu  to  France. 

When  M.  Marouin  was  telling  me  these  details 
one  evening  on  the  very  spot  where  it  all  happened, 
though  twenty  years  had  passed,  he  remembered 
clearly  the  slightest  incidents  of  the  embarkation 
that  night.  From  that  moment  he  assured  me  that 
a  presentiment  of  misfortune  seized  him;  he  could 



not  tear  himself  away  from  the  shore,  and  several 
times  he  longed  to  call  the  king  back,  but,  like  a 
man  in  a  dream,  he  opened  his  mouth  without  being 
able  to  utter  a  sound.  He  was  afraid  of  being 
thought  foolish,  and  it  was  not  until  one  o'clock — - 
that  is,  two  and  a  half  hours  after  the  departure  of 
the  boat — that  he  went  home  with  a  sad  and  heavy 

The  adventurous  navigators  had  taken  the  course 
from  Toulon  to  Bastia,  and  at  first  it  seemed  to  the 
king  that  the  sailors'  predictions  were  belied;  the 
wind,  instead  of  getting  up,  fell  little  by  little,  and 
two  hours  after  the  departure  the  boat  was  rocking 
without  moving  forward  or  backward  on  the  waves, 
which  were  sinking  from  moment  to  moment. 
Murat  sadly  watched  the  phosphorescent  furrow 
trailing  behind  the  little  boat:  he  had  nerved  himself 
to  face  a  storm,  but  not  a  dead  calm,  and  without 
even  interrogating  his  companions,  of  whose  un- 
easiness he  took  no  account,  he  lay  down  in  the 
boat,  wrapped  in  his  cloak,  closing  his  eyes  as  if  he 
were  asleep,  and  following  the  flow  of  his  thoughts, 
which  were  far  more  tumultuous  than  that  of  the 
waters.  Soon  the  two  sailors,  thinking  him  asleep, 
joined  the  pilot,  and  sitting  down  beside  the  helm, 
they  began  to  consult  together. 

"  You  were  wrong,  Langlade,"  said  Donadieu, 
"  in  choosing  a  craft  like  this,  which  is  either  too 



small  or  else  too  big;  in  an  open  boat  we  can  never 
weather  a  storm,  and  without  oars  we  can  never 
make  any  way  in  a  calm." 

"  'Fore  God !  I  had  no  choice.  I  was  obliged  to 
take  what  I  could  get,  and  if  it  had  not  been  the 
season  for  tunny-fishing  I  might  not  even  have  got 
this  wretched  pinnace,  or  rather  I  should  have  had 
to  go  into  the  harbour  to  find  it,  and  they  keep  such 
a  sharp  lookout  that  I  might  well  have  gone  in 
without  coming  out  again." 

"  At  least  it  is  seaworthy,"  said  Blancard. 

"  Pardieu,  you  know  what  nails  and  planks  are 
when  they  have  been  soaked  in  sea-water  for  ten 
years.  On  any  ordinary  occasion,  a  man  would 
rather  not  go  in  her  from  Marseilles  to  the  Chateau 
d'lf,  but  on  an  occasion  like  this  one  would  willingly 
go  round  the  world  in  a  nutshell." 

"Hush!"  said  Donadieu.  The  sailors  listened; 
a  distant  growl  was  heard,  but  it  was  so  faint  that 
only  the  experienced  ear  of  a  sailor  could  have 
distinguished  it. 

"  Yes,  yes,"  said  Langlade,"  "  it  is  a  warning 
for  those  who  have  legs  or  wings  to  regain 
the  homes  and  nests  that  they  ought  never  to  have 

"  Are  we  far  from  the  islands?  "  asked  Donadieu 

"About  a  mile  off." 



"  Steer  for  them." 

"  What  for?  "  asked  Murat,  looking  up. 

"  To  put  in  there,  sire,  if  we  can." 

"  No,  no,"  cried  Murat;  "  I  will  not  land  except 
in  Corsica.  I  will  not  leave  France  again.  Besides, 
the  sea  is  calm  and  the  wind  is  getting  up  again " 

"  Down  with  the  sails!  "  shouted  Donadieu.  In- 
stantly Langlade  and  Blancard  jumped  forward  to 
carry  out  the  order.  The  sail  slid  down  the  mast 
and  fell  in  a  heap  in  the  bottom  of  the  boat. 

"  What  are  you  doing?  "  cried  Murat.  "  Do  you 
forget  that  I  am  king  and  that  I  command  you?  " 

"  Sire,"  said  Donadieu,  "  there  is  a  king  more 
powerful  than  you — God;  there  is  a  voice  which 
drowns  yours — the  voice  of  the  tempest:  let  us  save 
your  Majesty  if  possible,  and  demand  nothing  more 
of  us." 

Just  then  a  flash  of  lightning  quivered  along  the 
horizon,  a  clap  of  thunder  nearer  than  the  first  one 
was  heard,  a  light  foam  appeared  on  the  surface 
of  the  water,  and  the  boat  trembled  like  a  living 
thing.  Murat  began  to  understand  that  danger 
was  approaching,  then  he  got  up  smiling,  threw  his 
hat  behind  him,  shook  back  his  long  hair,  and 
breathed  in  the  storm  like  the  smell  of  powder — the 
soldier  was  ready  for  the  battle. 

"  Sire,"  said  Donadieu,  "  you  have  seen  many  a 
battle,  but  perhaps  you  have  never  watched  a  storm : 



if  you  are  curious  about  it,  cling  to  the  mast,  for  you 
have  a  fine  opportunity  now." 

"What  ought  I  to  do?"  said  Murat.  "Can  I 
not  help  you  in  any  way  ?  " 

"  No,  not  just  now,  sire ;  later  you  will  be  useful 
at  the  pumps." 

During  this  dialogue  the  storm  had  drawn  near; 
it  rushed  on  the  travellers  like  a  war-horse,  breath- 
ing out  fire  and  wind  through  its  nostrils,  neighing 
like  thunder,  and  scattering  the  foam  of  the  waves 
beneath  its  feet. 

Donadieu  turned  the  rudder,  the  boat  yielded  as 
if  it  understood  the  necessity  for  prompt  obedience, 
and  presented  the  poop  to  the  shock  of  wind;  then 
the  squall  passed,  leaving  the  sea  quivering,  and 
everything  was  calm  again.  The  storm  took  breath. 

"  Will  that  gust  be  all?  "  asked  Murat. 

"  No,  your  Majesty,  that  was  the  advance-guard 
only;  the  body  of  the  army  will  be  up  directly." 

"  And  are  you  not  going  to  prepare  for  it?  "  asked 
the  king  gaily. 

"What  could  we  do?"  said  Donadieu.  "We 
have  not  an  inch  of  canvas  to  catch  the  wind,  and 
as  long  as  we  do  not  make  too  much  water,  we 
shall  float  like  a  cork.     Look  out — sire!  " 

Indeed,  a  second  hurricane  was  on  its  way,  bring- 
ing rain  and  lightning;  it  was  swifter  than  the  first. 
Donadieu  endeavoured  to  repeat  the  same  manceu- 



vre,  but  he  could  not  turn  before  the  wind  struck 
the  boat,  the  mast  bent  like  a  reed ;  the  boat  shipped 
a  wave. 

"  To  the  pumps !  "  cried  Donadieu.  "  Sire,  now 
is  the  moment  to  help  us " 

Blancard,  Langlade,  and  Murat  seized  their  hats 
and  began  to  bale  out  the  boat.  The  position  of  the 
four  men  was  terrible — it  lasted  three  hours. 

At  dawn  the  wind  fell,  but  the  sea  was  still  high. 
They  began  to  feel  the  need  of  food :  all  the  provi- 
sions had  been  spoiled  by  sea-water,  only  the  wine 
had  been  preserved  from  its  contact. 

The  king  took  a  bottle  and  swallowed  a  little  wine 
first,  then  he  passed  it  to  his  companions,  who  drank 
in  their  turn :  necessity  had  overcome  etiquette.  By 
chance  Langlade  had  on  him  a  few  chocolates,  which 
he  offered  to  the  king.  Murat  divided  them  into 
four  equal  parts,  and  forced  his  companions  to  take 
their  shares;  then,  when  the  meal  was  over,  they 
steered  for  Corsica,  but  the  boat  had  suffered  so 
much  that  it  was  improbable  that  it  would  reach 

The  whole  day  passed  without  making  ten  miles ; 
the  boat  was  kept  under  the  jib,  as  they  dared  not 
hoist  the  mainsail,  and  the  wind  was  so  variable  that 
much  time  was  lost  in  humouring  its  caprices. 

By  evening  the  boat  had  drawn  a  considerable 
amount  of  water,  it  penetrated  between  the  boards, 



the  handkerchiefs  of  the  crew  served  to  plug  up  the 
leaks,  and  night,  which  was  descending  in  mourn- 
ful gloom,  wrapped  them  a  second  time  in  darkness. 
Prostrated  with  fatigue,  Murat  fell  asleep,  Blancard 
and  Langlade  took  their  places  beside  Donadieu, 
and  the  three  men,  who  seemed  insensible  to  the 
calls  of  sleep  and  fatigue,  watched  over  his  slumbers. 

The  night  was  calm  enough  apparently,  but  low 
grumblings  were  heard  now  and  then. 

The  three  sailors  looked  at  each  other  strangely 
and  then  at  the  king,  who  was  sleeping  at  the  bottom 
of  the  boat,  his  cloak  soaked  with  sea-water,  sleep- 
ing as  soundly  as  he  had  slept  on  the  sands  of  Egypt 
or  the  snows  of  Russia. 

Then  one  of  them  got  up  and  went  to  the  other 
end  of  the  boat,  whistling  between  his  teeth  a 
Provencal  air;  then,  after  examining  the  sky,  the 
waves,  and  the  boat,  he  went  back  to  his  comrades 
and  sat  down,  muttering,  "  Impossible !  Except  by 
a  miracle,  we  shall  never  make  the  land." 

The  night  passed  through  all  its  phases.  At  dawn 
there  was  a  vessel  in  sight. 

"  A  sail !  "  cried  Donadieu,—"  a  sail !  " 

At  this  cry  the  king  awoke;  and  soon  a  little 
trading  brig  hove  in  sight,  going  from  Corsica  to 

Donadieu  steered  for  the  brig,  Blancard  hoisted 
enough  sail  to  work  the  boat,  and  Langlade  ran  to 



the  prow  and  held  up  the  king's  cloak  on  the  end  of 
a  sort  of  harpoon.  Soon  the  voyagers  perceived 
that  they  had  been  sighted,  the  brig  went  about  to 
approach  them,  and  in  ten  minutes  they  found  them- 
selves within  fifty  yards  of  it.  The  captain  appeared 
in  the  bows.  Then  the  king  hailed  him  and  offered 
him  a  substantial  reward  if  he  would  receive  them 
on  board  and  take  them  to  Corsica.  The  captain 
listened  to  the  proposal ;  then  immediately  turning 
to  the  crew,  he  gave  an  order  in  an  undertone  which 
Donadieu  could  not  hear,  but  which  he  understood 
probably  by  the  gesture,  for  he  instantly  gave 
Langlade  and  Blancard  the  order  to  make  away 
from  the  schooner.  They  obeyed  with  the  unques- 
tioning promptitude  of  sailors;  but  the  king  stamped 
his  foot. 

"  What  are  you  doing,  Donadieu  ?  What  are  you 
about?    Don't  you  see  that  she  is  coming  up  to  us?  " 

"  Yes — upon  my  soul — so  she  is.  .  .  .  Do  as  I 
say,  Langlade ;  ready,  Blancard.  Yes,  she  is  com- 
ing upon  us,  and  perhaps  I  was  too  late  in  seeing 
this.  That's  all  right — that's  all  right :  my  part 

Then  he  forced  over  the  rudder,  giving  it  so 
violent  a  jerk  that  the  boat,  forced  to  change  her 
course  suddenly,  seemed  to  rear  and  plunge  like  a 
horse  struggling  against  the  curb ;  finally  she  obeyed. 
A  huge  wave,  raised  by  the  giant  bearing  down  on 



the  pinnace,  carried  it  on  like  a  leaf,  and  the  brig 
passed  within  a  few  feet  of  the  stern. 

"Ah!  .  .  .  traitor!"  cried  the  king,  who  had 
only  just  begun  to  realise  the  intention  of  the 
captain.  At  the  same  time,  he  pulled  a  pistol  from 
his  belt,  crying  "  Board  her!  board  her!  "  and  tried 
to  fire  on  the  brig,  but  the  powder  was  wet  and 
would  not  catch.  The  king  was  furious,  and  went 
on  shouting  "  Board  her!  board  her!  " 

"  Yes,  the  wretch,  or  rather  the  imbecile,"  said 
Donadieu,  "  he  took  us  for  pirates,  and  wanted  to 
sink  us — as  if  we  needed  him  to  do  that!  " 

Indeed,  a  single  glance  at  the  boat  showed  that 
she  was  beginning  to  make  water. 

The  effort  to  escape  which  Donadieu  had  made 
had  strained  the  boat  terribly,  and  the  water  was 
pouring  in  by  a  number  of  leaks  between  the  planks ; 
they  had  to  begin  again  bailing  out  with  their  hats, 
and  went  on  at  it  for  ten  hours.  Then  for  the 
second  time  Donadieu  heard  the  consoling  cry,  "  A 
sail !  a  sail !  "  The  king  and  his  companions  imme- 
diately left  off  bailing;  they  hoisted  the  sails  again, 
and  steered  for  the  vessel  which  was  coming  towards 
them,  and  neglected  to  fight  against  the  water,  which 
was  rising  rapidly. 

From  that  time  forth  it  was  a  question  of  time, 
of  minutes,  of  seconds;  it  was  a  question  of  reach- 
ing the  ship  before  the  boat  foundered. 



The  vessel,  however,  seemed  to  understand  the 
desperate  position  of  the  men  imploring  help;  she 
was  coming  up  at  full  speed.  Langlade  was  the  first 
to  recognise  her;  she  was  a  Government  felucca 
plying  between  Toulon  and  Bastia.  Langlade  was 
a  friend  of  the  captain,  and  he  called  his  name  with 
the  penetrating  voice  of  desperation,  and  he  was 
heard.  It  was  high  time:  the  water  kept  on 
rising,  and  the  king  and  his  companions  were  al- 
ready up  to  their  knees;  the  boat  groaned  in  its 
death-struggle ;  it  stood  still,  and  began  to  go  round 
and  round. 

Just  then  two  or  three  ropes  thrown  from  the 
felucca  fell  upon  the  boat;  the  king  seized  one, 
sprang  forward,  and  reached  the  rope-ladder:  he 
was  saved. 

Blancard  and  Langlade  immediately  followed. 
Donadieu  waited  until  the  last,  as  was  his  duty,  and 
as  he  put  his  foot  on  the  ladder  he  felt  the  other 
boat  begin  to  go  under;  he  turned  round  with  all  a 
sailor's  calm,  and  saw  the  gulf  open  its  jaws  beneath 
him,  and  then  the  shattered  boat  capsized,  and 
immediately  disappeared.  Five  seconds  more,  and 
the  four  men  who  were  saved  would  have  been  lost 
beyond  recall ! 1 

'These  details  are  well  known  to  the  people  of  Toulon, 
and  I  have  heard  them  myself  a  score  of  times  during  the 
two  stays  that  I  made  in  that  town  during  1834  and  1835. 
Some  of  the  people  who  related  them  had  them  first-hand 
from  Langlade  and  Donadieu  themselves. 


Murat  had  hardly  gained  the  deck  before  a  man 
came  and  fell  at  his  feet :  it  was  a  Mameluke  whom 
he  had  taken  to  Egypt  in  former  years,  and  had 
since  married  at  Castellamare ;  business  affairs  had 
taken  him  to  Marseilles,  where  by  a  miracle  he  had 
escaped  the  massacre  of  his  comrades,  and  in  spite 
of  his  disguise  and  fatigue  he  had  recognised  his 
former  master. 

His  exclamations  of  joy  prevented  the  king  from 
keeping  up  his  incognito.  Then  Senator  Casabianca, 
Captain  Oletta,  a  nephew  of  Prince  Baciocchi,  a 
staff-paymaster  called  Boerco,  who  were  themselves 
fleeing  from  the  massacres  of  the  South,  were  all 
on  board  the  vessel,  and  improvising  a  little  court, 
they  greeted  the  king  with  the  title  of  "  your 
Majesty."  It  had  been  a  sudden  embarkation,  it 
brought  about  a  swift  change:  he  was  no  longer 
Murat  the  exile;  he  was  Joachim  I,  the  King  of 
Naples.  The  exile's  refuge  disappeared  with  the 
foundered  boat;  in  its  place  Naples  and  its  magni- 
ficent gulf  appeared  on  the  horizon  like  a  marvellous 
mirage,  and  no  doubt  the  primary  idea  of  the  fatal 
expedition  of  Calabria  was  originated  in  the  first 
days  of  exultation  which  followed  those  hours  of 
anguish.  The  king,  however,  still  uncertain  of  the 
welcome  which  awaited  him  in  Corsica,  took  the 
name  of  the  Count  of  Campo  Melle,  and  it  was 
under  this  name  that  he  landed  at  Bastia  on  the 



25th  August.  But  this  precaution  was  useless;  three 
days  after  his  arrival,  not  a  soul  but  knew  of  his 
presence  in  the  town. 

Crowds  gathered  at  once,  and  cries  of  "  Long  live 
Joachim!"  were  heard,  and  the  king,  fearing  to 
disturb  the  public  peace,  left  Bastia  the  same  even- 
ing with  his  three  companions  and  his  Mameluke. 
Two  hours  later  he  arrived  at  Viscovato,  and 
knocked  at  the  door  of  General  Franceschetti,  who 
had  been  in  his  service  during  his  whole  reign,  and 
who,  leaving  Naples  at  the  same  time  as  the  king, 
had  gone  to  Corsica  with  his  wife,  to  live  with  his 
father-in-law,  M.  Colonna  Cicaldi. 

He  was  in  the  middle  of  supper  when  a  servant 
told  him  that  a  stranger  was  asking  to  speak  to  him : 
he  went  out,  and  found  Murat  wrapped  in  a  military 
greatcoat,  a  sailor's  cap  drawn  down  on  his  head, 
his  beard  grown  long,  and  wearing  a  soldier's 
trousers,  boots,  and  gaiters. 

The  general  stood  still  in  amazement ;  Murat  fixed 
his  great  dark  eyes  on  him,  and  then,  folding  his 
arms — 

"  Franceschetti,"  said  he,  "  have  you  room  at 
your  table  for  your  general,  who  is  hungry?  Have 
you  a  shelter  under  your  roof  for  your  king,  who  is 
an  exile?  " 

Franceschetti  looked  astonished  as  he  recognised 
Joachim,  and  could  only  answer  him  by  falling  on 



his  knees  and  kissing  his  hand.  From  that  moment 
the  general's  house  was  at  Murat's  disposal. 

The  news  of  the  king's  arrival  had  hardly  been 
handed  about  the  neighbourhood  before  officers  of 
all  ranks  hastened  to  Viscovato,  veterans  who  had 
fought  under  him,  Corsican  hunters  who  were 
attracted  by  his  adventurous  character;  in  a  few 
days  the  general's  house  was  turned  into  a  palace, 
the  village  into  a  royal  capital,  the  island  into  a 

Strange  rumours  were  heard  concerning  Murat's 
intentions.  An  army  of  nine  hundred  men  helped 
to  give  them  some  amount  of  confirmation.  It  was 
then  that  Blancard,  Donadieu,  and  Langlade  took 
leave  of  him;  Murat  wished  to  keep  them,  but  they 
had  been  vowed  to  the  rescue  of  the  exile,  not  to  the 
fortunes  of  the  king. 

We  have  related  how  Murat  had  met  one  of  his 
former  Mamelukes,  a  man  called  Othello,  on  board 
the  Bastia  mailboat.  Othello  had  followed  him  to 
Viscovato,  and  the  ex-King  of  Naples  considered 
how  to  make  use  of  him.  Family  relations  recalled 
him  naturally  to  Castellamare,  and  Murat  ordered 
him  to  return  there,  entrusting  to  him  letters  for 
persons  on  whose  devotion  he  could  depend. 
Othello  started,  and  reached  his  father-in-law's 
safely,  and  thought  he  could  confide  in  him;  but  the 
latter  was  horror-struck,   and  alarmed  the  police, 



who  made  a  descent  on  Othello  one  night,  and  seized 
the  letters. 

The  next  day  each  man  to  whom  a  letter  was 
addressed  was  arrested  and  ordered  to  answer 
Murat  as  if  all  was  well,  and  to  point  out  Salerno  as 
the  best  place  for  disembarking:  five  out  of  seven 
were  dastards  enough  to  obey;  the  two  remaining, 
who  were  two  Spanish  brothers,  absolutely  refused; 
they  were  thrown  into  a  dungeon. 

However,  on  the  17th  September,  Murat  left 
Viscovato;  General  Franceschetti  and  several  Cor- 
sican  officers  served  as  escort;  he  took  the  road  to 
Ajaccio  by  Cotone,  the  mountains  of  Serra  and 
Bosco,  Venaco  and  Vivaro,  by  the  gorges  of  the 
forest  of  Vezzanovo  and  Bogognone;  he  was 
received  and  feted  like  a  king  everywhere,  and  at  the 
gates  of  the  towns  he  was  met  by  deputations  who 
made  him  speeches  and  saluted  him  with  the  title  of 
"Majesty";  at  last,  on  the  23rd  September,  he 
arrived  at  Ajaccio.  The  whole  population  awaited 
him  outside  the  walls,  and  his  entry  into  the 
town  was  a  triumphal  procession;  he  was  taken  to 
the  inn  which  had  been  fixed  upon  beforehand 
by  the  quartermasters.  It  was  enough  to  turn 
the  head  of  a  man  less  impressionable  than  Murat ; 
as  for  him,  he  was  intoxicated  with  it.  As  he 
went  into  the  inn  he  held  out  his  hand  to  Fran- 



"  You  see,"  he  said,  "  what  the  Neapolitans  will 
do  for  me  by  the  way  the  Corsicans  receive  me." 

It  was  the  first  mention  which  had  escaped  him  of 
his  plans  for  the  future,  and  from  that  very  day  he 
began  to  give  orders  for  his  departure. 

They  collected  ten  little  feluccas:  a  Maltese, 
named  Barbara,  former  captain  of  a  frigate  of  the 
Neapolitan  navy,  was  appointed  commander-in- 
chief  of  the  expedition;  two  hundred  and  fifty  men 
were  recruited  and  ordered  to  hold  themselves  in 
readiness  for  the  first  signal. 

Murat  was  only  waiting  for  the  answers  to 
Othello's  letters :  they  arrived  on  the  afternoon  of 
the  28th.  Murat  invited  all  his  officers  to  a  grand 
dinner,  and  ordered  double  pay  and  double  rations 
to  the  men. 

The  king  was  at  dessert  when  the  arrival  of  M. 
Maceroni  was  announced  to  him :  he  was  the  envoy 
of  the  foreign  powers  who  brought  Murat  the 
answer  which  he  had  been  awaiting  so  long  at 
Toulon.  Murat  left  the  table  and  went  into  another 
room.  M.  Maceroni  introduced  himself  as  charged 
with  an  official  mission,  and  handed  the  king  the 
Emperor  of  Austria's  ultimatum.  It  was  couched 
in  the  following  terms : — 

"  Monsieur  Maceroni  is  authorised  by  these 
presents   to   announce   to   King  Joachim  that   His 



Majesty  the  Emperor  of  Austria  will  afford  him 
shelter  in  his  States  on  the  following  terms : 

*'  I.  The  king  is  to  take  a  private  name.  The  queen 
having  adopted  that  of  Lipano,  it  is  proposed  that 
the  king  should  do  likewise. 

"2.  It  will  be  permitted  to  the  king  to  choose  a 
town  in  Bohemia,  Moravia,  or  the  Tyrol,  as  a  place 
of  residence.  He  could  even  inhabit  a  country 
house  in  one  of  these  same  provinces  without 

"  3.  The  king  is  to  give  his  word  of  honour  to 
His  Imperial  and  Royal  Majesty  that  he  will  never 
leave  the  States  of  Austria  without  the  express  per- 
mission of  the  Emperor,  and  that  he  is  to  live  like  a 
private  gentleman  of  distinction,  but  submitting  to 
the  laws  in  force  in  the  States  of  Austria. 

"  In  attestation  whereof,  and  to  guard  against 
abuse,  the  undersigned  has  received  the  order  of  the 
Emperor  to  sign  the  present  declaration. 

"  (Signed)    Prince  of  Metternich 

"Paris,  1st  Sept.  18 15  " 

Murat  smiled  as  he  finished  reading,  then  he 
signed  to  M.  Maceroni  to  follow  him. 

He  led  him  on  to  the  terrace  of  the  house,  which 

looked   over  the   whole   town,    and   over   which   a 

banner  floated  as  it  might  on  a  royal  castle.     From 

thence  they  could  see  Ajaccio,  all  gay  and  illumi- 


Before  he  had  time  to  pick  himself  up,  the  populace  had  fallen 
on  him. 

From  the  painting  by  A.    Wald. 

—p.  24-48 


nated,  the  port  with  its  little  fleet,  and  the  streets 
crowded  with  people,  as  if  it  were  a  fete-day. 

Hardly  had  the  crowd  set  eyes  on  Murat  before 
a  universal  cry  arose,  "  Long  live  Joachim,  brother 
of  Napoleon !  Long  live  the  King  of  Naples ! " 
Murat  bowed,  and  the  shouts  were  redoubled,  and 
the  garrison  band  played  the  national  airs. 

M.  Maceroni  did  not  know  how  to  believe  his  own 
eyes  and  ears. 

When  the  king  had  enjoyed  his  astonishment,  he 
invited  him  to  go  down  to  the  drawing-room.  His 
staff  were  there,  all  in  full  uniform:  one  might  have 
been  at  Caserte  or  at  Capo  di  Monte.  At  last,  after 
a  moment's  hesitation,  Maceroni  approached  Murat. 

"  Sir,"  he  said,  "  what  is  my  answer  to  be  to  His 
Majesty  the  Emperor  of  Austria?  " 

"  Sir,"  answered  Murat,  with  the  lofty  dignity 
which  sat  so  well  on  his  fine  face,  "  tell  my  brother 
Francis  what  you  have  seen  and  heard,  and  add  that 
I  am  setting  out  this  very  night  to  reconquer  my 
kingdom  of  Naples." 


11— Dumas— Vol.  7 



THE  letters  which  had  made  Murat  resolve  to 
leave  Corsica  had  been  brought  to  him  by  a 
Calabrian  named  Luidgi.  He  had  presented  him- 
self to  the  king  as  the  envoy  of  the  Arab,  Othello, 
who  had  been  thrown  into  prison  in  Naples,  as  we 
have  related,  as  well  as  the  seven  recipients  of  the 

The  answers,  written  by  the  head  of  the  Nea- 
politan police,  indicated  the  port  of  Salerno  as  the 
best  place  for  Joachim  to  land ;  for  King  Ferdinand 
had  assembled  three  thousand  Austrian  troops  at 
that  point,  not  daring  to  trust  the  Neapolitan  sol- 
diers, who  cherished  a  brilliant  and  enthusiastic 
memory  of  Murat. 

Accordingly  the  flotilla  was  directed  for  the  Gulf 
of  Salerno,  but  within  sight  of  the  island  of  Capri 
a  violent  storm  broke  over  it,  and  drove  it  as  far  as 
Paola,  a  little  seaport  situated  ten  miles  from 
Cosenza.  Consequently  the  vessels  were  anchored 
for  the  night  of  the  5th  of  October  in  a  little  inden- 
tation of  the  coast  not  worthy  of  the  name  of  a 
roadstead.    The  king,  to  remove  all  suspicion  from 



the  coastguards  and  the  Sicilian  scorridori,1  ordered 
that  all  lights  should  be  extinguished  and  that  the 
vessels  should  tack  about  during  the  night;  but 
towards  one  o'clock  such  a  violent  land-wind  sprang 
up  that  the  expedition  was  driven  out  to  sea,  so 
that  on  the  6th  at  dawn  the  king's  vessel  was 

During  the  morning  they  overhauled  Captain 
Cicconi's  felucca,  and  the  two  ships  dropped  anchor 
at  four  o'clock  in  sight  of  Santo-Lucido.  In  the 
evening  the  king  commanded  Ottoviani,  a  staff  offi- 
cer, to  go  ashore  and  reconnoitre.  Luidgi  offered 
to  accompany  him.  Murat  accepted  his  services. 
So  Ottoviani  and  his  guide  went  ashore,  whilst 
Cicconi  and  his  felucca  put  out  to  sea  in  search  of 
the  rest  of  the  fleet. 

Towards  eleven  o'clock  at  night  the  lieutenant  of 
the  watch  descried  a  man  in  the  waves  swimming 
to  the  vessel.  As  soon  as  he  was  within  hearing 
the  lieutenant  hailed  him.  The  swimmer  imme- 
diately made  himself  known :  it  was  Luidgi.  They 
put  out  the  boat,  and  he  came  on  board.  Then  he 
told  them  that  Ottoviani  had  been  arrested,  and  he 
had  only  escaped  himself  by  jumping  into  the  sea. 
Murat's  first  idea  was  to  go  to  the  rescue  of  Otto- 
viani; but  Luidgi  made  the  king  realise  the  danger 
and  uselessness  of  such  an  attempt;  nevertheless, 

1  Small  vessels  fitted  up  as  ships-of-war. 


Joachim  remained  agitated  and  irresolute  until  two 
o'clock  in  the  morning. 

At  last  he  gave  the  order  10  put  to  sea  again. 
During  the  manoeuvre  which  effected  this  a  sailor 
fell  overboard  and  disappeared  before  they  had 
time  to  help  him.     Decidedly  these  were  ill  omens. 

On  the  morning  of  the  7th  two  vessels  were  in 
sight.  The  king  gave  the  order  to  prepare  for 
action,  but  Barbara  recognised  them  as  Cicconi's 
felucca  and  Courrand's  lugger,  which  had  joined 
each  other  and  were  keeping  each  other  company. 
They  hoisted  the  necessary  signals,  and  the  two 
captains  brought  up  their  vessels  alongside  the 

While  they  were  deliberating  as  to  what  route  to 
follow,  a  boat  came  up  to  Murat's  vessel.  Captain 
Pernice  was  on  board  with  a  lieutenant.  They  came 
to  ask  the  king's  permission  to  board  his  ship,  not 
wishing  to  remain  on  Courrand's,  for  in  their  opin- 
ion he  was  a  traitor. 

Murat  sent  to  fetch  him,  and  in  spite  of  his  pro- 
testations he  was  made  to  descend  into  a  boat  with 
fifty  men,  and  the  boat  was  moored  to  the  vessel. 
The  order  was  carried  out  at  once,  and  the  little 
squadron  advanced,  coasting  along  the  shores  of 
Calabria  without  losing  sight  of  them;  but  at  ten 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  just  as  they  came  abreast  of 
the  Gulf  of  Santa-Eufemia,  Captain  Courrand  cut 



the  rope  which  moored  his  boat  to  the  vessel,  and 
rowed  away  from  the  fleet. 

Murat  had  thrown  himself  on  to  his  bed  without 
undressing;  they  brought  him  the  news. 

He  rushed  up  to  the  deck,  and  arrived  in  time  to 
see  the  boat,  which  was  fleeing  in  the  direction  of 
Corsica,  grow  small  and  vanish  in  the  distance.  He 
remained  motionless,  not  uttering  a  cry,  giving  no 
signs  of  rage;  he  only  sighed  and  let  his  head  fall 
on  his  breast :  it  was  one  more  leaf  falling  from  the 
exhausted  tree  of  his  hopes. 

General  Franceschetti  profited  by  this  hour  of  dis- 
couragement to  advise  him  not  to  land  in  Calabria, 
and  to  go  direct  to  Trieste,  in  order  to  claim  from 
Austria  the  refuge  which  had  been  offered. 

The  king  was  going  through  one  of  those  periods 
of  extreme  exhaustion,  of  mortal  depression,  when 
courage  quite  gives  way:  he  refused  flatly  at  first, 
and  then  at  last  agreed  to  do  it. 

Just  then  the  general  perceived  a  sailor  lying  on 
some  coils  of  ropes,  within  hearing  of  all  they  said; 
he  interrupted  himself,  and  pointed  him  out  to 

The  latter  got  up,  went  to  see  the  man,  and  recog- 
nised Luidgi ;  overcome  with  exhaustion,  he  had 
fallen  asleep  on  deck.  The  king  satisfied  himself 
that  the  sleep  was  genuine,  and  besides  he  had  full 
confidence  in  the  man.     The  conversation,  which 



had  been  interrupted  for  a  moment,  was  renewed: 
it  was  agreed  that  without  saying  anything  about 
the  new  plans,  they  would  clear  Cape  Spartivento 
and  enter  the  Adriatic ;  then  the  king  and  the  general 
went  below  again  to  the  lower  deck. 

The  next  day,  the  8th  October,  they  found  them- 
selves abreast  of  Pizzo,  when  Joachim,  questioned 
by  Barbara  as  to  what  he  proposed  to  do,  gave  the 
order  to  steer  for  Messina.  Barbara  answered  that 
he  was  ready  to  obey,  but  that  they  were  in  need 
of  food  and  water;  consequently  he  offered  to  go  on 
board  Cicconi's  vessel  and  to  land  with  him  to  get 
stores.  The  king  agreed;  Barbara  asked  for  the 
passports  which  he  had  received  from  the  allied 
powers,  in  order,  he  said,  not  to  be  molested  by  the 
local  authorities. 

These  documents  were  too  important  for  Murat 
to  consent  to  part  with  them;  perhaps  the  king  was 
beginning  to  suspect :  he  refused.  Barbara  insisted : 
Murat  ordered  him  to  land  without  the  papers; 
Barbara  flatly  refused. 

The  king,  accustomed  to  being  obeyed,  raised  his 
riding-whip  to  strike  the  Maltese,  but,  changing  his 
resolution,  he  ordered  the  soldiers  to  prepare  their 
arms,  the  officers  to  put  on  full  uniform;  he  himself 
set  the  example.  The  disembarkation  was  decided 
upon,  and  Pizzo  was  to  become  the  Golfe  Juan  of 
the  new  Napoleon. 



Consequently  the  vessels  were  steered  for  land. 
The  king  got  down  into  a  boat  with  twenty-eight 
soldiers  and  three  servants,  amongst  whom  was 
Luidgi.  As  they  drew  near  the  shore  General  Fran- 
ceschetti  made  a  movement  as  if  to  land,  but  Murat 
stopped  him. 

"  It  is  for  me  to  land  first,"  he  said,  and  he  sprang 
on  shore. 

He  was  dressed  in  a  general's  coat,  white  breeches 
and  riding-boots,  a  belt  carrying  two  pistols,  a  gold- 
embroidered  hat  with  a  cockade  fastened  in  with 
a  clasp  made  of  fourteen  brilliants,  and  lastly  he 
carried  under  his  arm  the  banner  round  which  he 
hoped  to  rally  his  partisans.  The  town  clock  of 
Pizzo  struck  ten.  Murat  went  straight  up  to  the 
town,  from  which  he  was  hardly  a  hundred  yards 
distant.  He  followed  the  wide  stone  staircase  which 
led  up  to  it. 

It  was  Sunday.  Mass  was  about  to  be  celebrated, 
and  the  whole  population  had  assembled  in  the  Great 
Square  when  he  arrived.  No  one  recognised  him, 
and  everyone  gazed  with  astonishment  at  the  fine 
officer.  Presently  he  saw  amongst  the  peasants  a 
former  sergeant  of  his  who  had  served  in  his  guard 
at  Naples.  He  walked  straight  up  to  him  and  put 
his  hand  on  the  man's  shoulder. 

"  Tavella,"  he  said,  "don't  you  recognise  me?" 
But  as  the  man  made  no  answer — 



"  I  am  Joachim  Murat,  I  am  your  king,"  he  said. 
"  Yours  be  the  honour  to  shout  '  Long  live  Joa- 
chim! '  first." 

Murat's  suite  instantly  made  the  air  ring  with 
acclamations,  but  the  Calabrians  remained  silent, 
and  not  one  of  his  comrades  took  up  the  cry  for 
which  the  king  himself  had  given  the  signal;  on 
the  contrary,  a  low  murmur  ran  through  the  crowd. 
Murat  well  understood  this  forerunner  of  the  storm. 

"  Well,"  he  said  to  Tavella,  "  if  you  won't  cry 
'  Long  live  Joachim ! '  you  can  at  least  fetch  me  a 
horse,  and  from  sergeant  I  will  promote  you  to  be 

Tavella  walked  away  without  answering,  but  in- 
stead of  carrying  out  the  king's  behest,  went  into 
his  house,  and  did  not  appear  again. 

In  the  meantime  the  people  were  massing  to- 
gether without  evincing  any  of  the  sympathy  that 
the  king  had  hoped  for.  He  felt  that  he  was  lost 
if  he  did  not  act  instantly. 

"  To  Monteleone !  "  he  cried,  springing  forward 
towards  the  road  which  led  to  that  town. 

"  To  Monteleone!  "  shouted  his  officers  and  men, 
as  they  followed  him. 

And  the  crowd,  persistently  silent,  opened  to  let 
them  pass. 

But  they  had  hardly  left  the  square  before  a  great 
disturbance  broke  out.    A  man  named  Giorgio  Pel- 



fegrino  came  out  of  his  house  with  a  gun  and  crossed 
the  square,  shouting,  "  To  your  arms !  " 

He  knew  that  Captain  Trenta  Capelli  command- 
ing the  Cosenza  garrison  was  just  then  in  Pizzo,  and 
he  was  going  to  warn  him. 

The  cry  "To  arms!"  had  more  effect  on  the 
crowd  than  the  cry  "  Long  live  Joachim !  " 

Every  Calabrian  possesses  a  gun,  and  each  one 
ran  to  fetch  his,  and  when  Trenta  Capelli  and  Gior- 
gio Pellegrino  came  back  to  the  square  they  found 
nearly  two  hundred  armed  men  there. 

They  placed  themselves  at  the  head  of  the  column, 
and  hastened  forward  in  pursuit  of  the  king;  they 
came  up  with  him  about  ten  minutes  from  the 
square,  where  the  bridge  is  nowadays.  Seeing  them, 
Murat  stopped  and  waited  for  them. 

Trenta  Capelli  advanced,  sword  in  hand,  towards 
the  king. 

"  Sire,"  said  the  latter,  "  will  you  exchange  your 
captain's  epaulettes  for  a  general's  ?  Cry  '  Long  live 
Joachim !  '  and  follow  me  with  these  brave  fellows 
to  Monteleone." 

"  Sire,"  said  Trenta  Capelli,  "  we  are  the  faith- 
ful subjects  of  King  Ferdinand,  and  we  come  to 
fight  you,  and  not  to  bear  you  company.  Give  your- 
self up,  if  you  would  prevent  bloodshed." 

Murat  looked  at  the  captain  with  an  expression 
which  it  would  be  impossible  to  describe ;  then  with- 



out  deigning  to  answer,  he  signed  to  Capelli  to  move 
away,  while  his  other  hand  went  to  his  pistol.  Gior- 
gio Pellegrino  perceived  the  movement. 

"  Down,  captain,  down !  "  he  cried.  The  captain 
obeyed.  Immediately  a  bullet  whistled  over  his 
head  and  brushed  Murat's  head. 

"  Fire !  "  commanded  Franceschetti. 

"  Down  with  your  arms !  "  cried  Murat. 

Waving  his  handkerchief  in  his  right  hand,  he 
made  a  step  towards  the  peasants,  but  at  the  same 
moment  a  number  of  shots  were  fired,  an  officer 
and  two  or  three  men  fell.  In  a  case  like  this, 
when  blood  has  begun  to  flow,  there  is  no  stop- 
ping it. 

Murat  knew  this  fatal  truth,  and  his  course  of 
action  was  rapidly  decided  on.  Before  him  he  had 
five  hundred  armed  men,  and  behind  him  a  precipice 
thirty  feet  high :  he  sprang  from  the  jagged  rock 
on  which  he  was  standing,  and  alighting  on  the 
sand,  jumped  up  safe  and  sound.  General  Frances- 
chetti and  his  aide-de-camp  Campana  were  able  to 
accomplish  the  jump  in  the  same  way,  and  all  three 
went  rapidly  down  to  the  sea  through  the  little  wood 
which  lay  within  a  hundred  yards  of  the  shore,  and 
which  hid  them  for  a  few  moments  from  their 

As  they  came  out  of  the  wood  a  fresh  discharge 
greeted  them,  bullets  whistled  round  them,  but  no 


one  was  hit,  and  the  three  fugitives  went  on  down 
to  the  beach. 

It  was  only  then  that  the  king  perceived  that  the 
boat  which  had  brought  them  to  land  had  gone  off 
again.  The  three  ships  which  composed  the  fleet, 
far  from  remaining  to  guard  his  landing,  were  sail- 
ing away  at  full  speed  into  the  open  sea. 

The  Maltese,  Barbara,  was  going  off  not  only 
with  Murat's  fortune,  but  with  his  hopes  likewise, 
his  salvation,  his  very  life.  They  could  not  believe 
in  such  treachery,  and  the  king  took  it  for  some 
manoeuvre  of  seamanship,  and  seeing  a  fishing-boat 
drawn  up  on  the  beach  on  some  nets,  he  called  to 
his  two  companions,  "  Launch  that  boat !  " 

They  all  began  to  push  it  down  to  the  sea  with 
the  energy  of  despair,  the  strength  of  agony. 

No  one  had  dared  to  leap  from  the  rock  in  pur- 
suit of  them;  their  enemies,  forced  to  make  a 
detour,  left  them  a  few  moments  of  liberty. 

But  soon  shouts  were  heard :  Giorgio  Pellegrino, 
Trenta  Capelli,  followed  by  the  whole  population 
of  Pizzo,  rushed  out  about  a  hundred  and  fifty 
paces  from  where  Murat,  Franceschetti,  and  Cam- 
pana  were  straining  themselves  to  make  the  boat 
glide  down  the  sand. 

These  cries  were  immediately  followed  by  a  vol<- 
!ey.    Campana  fell,  with  a  bullet  through  his  heart. 

The  boat,  however,  was  launched.  Franceschetti 


sprang  into  it,  Murat  was  about  to  follow,  but  he 
had  not  observed  that  the  spurs  of  his  riding-boots 
had  caught  in  the  meshes  of  the  net.  The  boat, 
yielding  to  the  push  he  gave  it,  glided  away,  and  the 
king  fell  head  foremost,  with  his  feet  on  land  and 
his  face  in  the  water.  Before  he  had  time  to  pick 
himself  up,  the  populace  had  fallen  on  him:  in  one 
instant  they  had  torn  away  his  epaulettes,  his  ban- 
ner, and  his  coat,  and  would  have  torn  him  to  bits 
himself,  had  not  Giorgio  Pellegrino  and  Trenta 
Capelli  taken  him  under  their  protection,  and  giv- 
ing him  an  arm  on  each  side,  defended  him  in  their 
turn  against  the  people.  Thus  he  crossed  the  square 
as  a  prisoner  where  an  hour  before  he  had  walked 
as  a  king. 

His  captors  took  him  to  the  castle :  he  was  pushed 
into  the  common  prison,  the  door  was  shut  upon 
him,  and  the  king  found  himself  among  thieves  and 
murderers,  who,  not  knowing  him,  took  him  for  a 
companion  in  crime,  and  greeted  him  with  foul 
language  and  hoots  of  derision. 

A  quarter  of  an  hour  later  the  door  of  the  gaol 
opened  and  Commander  Mattei  came  in :  he  found 
Murat  standing  with  head  proudly  erect  and  folded 
arms.  There  was  an  expression  of  indefinable  lofti- 
ness in  this  half-naked  man  whose  face  was  stained 
with  blood  and  bespattered  with  mud.  Mattei  bowed 
before  him. 



"  Commander,"  said  Murat,  recognising  his  rank 
by  his  epaulettes,  "  look  round  you  and  tell  me 
whether  this  is  a  prison  for  a  king."' 

Then  a  strange  thing  happened :  the  criminals, 
who,  believing  Murat  their  accomplice,  had  wel- 
comed him  with  vociferations  and  laughter,  now 
bent  before  his  royal  majesty,  which  had  not  over- 
awed Pellegrino  and  Trenta  Capelli,  and  retired 
silently  to  the  depths  of  their  dungeon. 

Misfortune  had  invested  Murat  with  a  new 

Commander  Mattei  murmured  some  excuse,  and 
invited  Murat  to  follow  him  to  a  room  that  he  had 
had  prepared  for  him;  but  before  going  out,  Murat 
put  his  hand  in  his  pocket  and  pulled  out  a  handful 
of  gold  and  let  it  fall  in  a  shower  in  the  midst  of 
the  gaol. 

"  See,"  he  said,  turning  towards  the  prisoners, 
"  it  shall  not  be  said  that  you  have  received  a  visit 
from  a  king,  prisoner  and  crownless  as  he  is,  with- 
out having  received  largesse." 

"  Long  live  Joachim!  "  cried  the  prisoners. 

Murat  smiled  bitterly.  Those  same  words  re- 
peated by  the  same  number  of  voices  an  hour 
before  in  the  public  square,  instead  of  resound- 
ing in  the  prison,  would  have  made  him  King  of 

The  most  important  events  proceed  sometimes 


from  such  mere  trifles,  that  it  seems  as  if  God  and 
the  devil  must  throw  dice  for  the  life  or  death  of 
men,  for  the  rise  or  fall  of  empires. 

Murat  followed  Commander  Mattei :  he  led  him 
to  a  little  room  which  the  porter  had  put  at  his  dis- 
posal. Mattei  was  going  to  retire  when  Murat 
called  him  back. 

"  Commander,"  he  said,  "  I  want  a  scented 

"  Sire,  it  will  be  difficult  to  obtain." 

"  Here  are  fifty  ducats ;  let  someone  buy  all  the 
eau  de  Cologne  that  can  be  obtained.  Ah — and  let 
some  tailors  be  sent  to  me." 

"  It  will  be  impossible  to  find  anyone  here  capable 
of  making  anything  but  a  peasant's  clothes." 

"  Send  someone  to  Monteleone  to  fetch  them 
from  there." 

The  commander  bowed  and  went  out. 

Murat  was  in  his  bath  when  the  Cavaliere  Alcala 
was  announced,  a  General  and  Governor  of  the 
town.  He  had  sent  damask  coverlets,  curtains,  and 
arm-chairs.  Murat  was  touched  by  this  attention, 
and  it  gave  him  fresh  composure.  At  two  o'clock 
the  same  day  General  Nunziante  arrived  from 
Santa-Tropea  with  three  thousand  men.  Murat 
greeted  his  old  acquaintance  with  pleasure;  but  at 
the  first  word  the  king  perceived  that  he  was  before 
his   judge,    and    that    he   had   not   come    for    the 



purpose  of  making  a  visit,  but  to  make  an  official 

Murat  contented  himself  with  stating  that  he  had 
been  on  his  way  from  Corsica  to  Trieste  with  a  pass- 
port from  the  Emperor  of  Austria  when  stormy 
weather  and  lack  of  provisions  had  forced  him  to 
put  into  Pizzo.  All  other  questions  Murat  met  with 
a  stubborn  silence;  then  at  least,  wearied  by  his 
importunity — 

"  General,"  he  said,  "  can  you  lend  me  some 
clothes  after  my  bath?" 

The  general  understood  that  he  could  expect  no 
more  information,  and,  bowing  to  the  king,  he  went 
out.  Ten  minutes  later,  a  complete  uniform  was 
brought  to  Murat;  he  put  it  on  immediately,  asked 
for  a  pen  and  ink,  wrote  to  the  commander-in-chief 
of  the  Austrian  troops  at  Naples,  to  the  English 
ambassador,  and  to  his  wife,  to  tell  them  of  his  de- 
tention at  Pizzo.  These  letters  written,  he  got  up 
and  paced  his  room  for  some  time  in  evident  agita- 
tion; at  last,  needing  fresh  air,  he  opened  the  win- 
dow. There  was  a  view  of  the  very  beach  where 
he  had  been  captured. 

Two  men  were  digging  a  hole  in  the  sand  at  the 
foot  of  the  little  redoubt.  Murat  watched  them 
mechanically.  When  the  two  men  had  finished,  they 
went  into  a  neighbouring  house  and  soon  came  out, 
bearing  a  corpse  in  their  arms. 

245 1 


The  king  searched  his  memory,  and  indeed  it 
seemed  to  him  that  in  the  midst  of  that  terrible  scene 
he  had  seen  someone  fall,  but  who  it  was  he  no 
longer  remembered.  The  corpse  was  quite  without 
covering,  but  by  the  long  black  hair  and  youthful 
outlines  the  king  recognised  Campana,  the  aide-de- 
camp he  had  always  loved  best. 

This  scene,  watched  from  a  prison  window  in  the 
twilight,  this  solitary  burial  on  the  shore,  in  the 
sand,  moved  Murat  more  deeply  than  his  own  fate. 
Great  tears  filled  his  eyes  and  fell  silently  down 
the  leonine  face.  At  that  moment  General  Nunzi- 
ante  came  in  and  surprised  him  with  outstretched 
arms  and  face  bathed  with  tears.  Murat  heard  him 
enter  and  turned  round,  and  seeing  the  old  soldier's 
surprise — 

"  Yes,  general,"  he  said,  "  I  weep ;  I  weep  for  that 
boy,  just  twenty- four,  entrusted  to  me  by  his  par- 
ents, whose  death  I  have  brought  about.  I  weep  for 
that  vast,  brilliant  future  which  is  buried  in  an 
unknown  grave,  in  an  enemy's  country,  on  a  hos- 
tile shore.  Oh,  Campana!  Campana!  if  ever  I  am 
king  again,  I  will  raise  you  a  royal  tomb." 

The  general  had  had  dinner  served  in  an  adjacent 
room.  Murat  followed  him  and  sat  down  to  table, 
but  he  could  not  eat.  The  sight  which  he  had  just 
witnessed  had  made  him  heart-broken,  and  yet  with- 
out a  line  on  his  brow  that  man  had  been  through 


the  battles  of  Aboukir,  Eylau,  and  Moscow !  After 
dinner,  Murat  went  into  his  room  again,  gave  his 
various  letters  to  General  Nunziante,  and  begged 
to  be  left  alone.    The  general  went  away. 

Murat  paced  round  his  room  several  times,  walk- 
ing with  long  steps,  and  pausing  from  time  to  time 
before  the  window,  but  without  opening  it. 

At  last  he  overcame  a  deep  reluctance,  put  his 
hand  on  the  bolt  and  drew  the  lattice  towards  him. 

It  was  a  calm,  clear  night:  one  could  see  the 
whole  shore.  He  looked  for  Campana's  grave. 
Two  dogs  scratching  the  sand  showed  him  the  spot. 

The  king  shut  the  window  violently,  and  without 
undressing  threw  himself  onto  his  bed.  At  last, 
fearing  that  his  agitation  would  be  attributed  to 
personal  alarm,  he  undressed  and  went  to  bed,  to 
sleep,  or  seem  to  sleep  all  night. 

On  the  morning  of  the  9th  the  tailors  whom 
Murat  had  asked  for  arrived.  He  ordered  a  great 
many  clothes,  taking  the  trouble  to  explain  all  the 
details  suggested  by  his  fastidious  taste.  He  was 
thus  employed  when  General  Nunziante  came  in. 
He  listened  sadly  to  the  king's  commands.  He 
had  just  received  telegraphic  despatches  ordering 
him  to  try  the  King  of  Naples  by  court-martial  as 
a  public  enemy.  But  he  found  the  king  so  confident, 
so  tranquil,  almost  cheerful  indeed,  that  he  had  not 
the  heart  to  announce  his  trial  to  him,  and  took 



upon  himself  to  delay  the  opening  of  operations 
until  he  received  written  instructions.  These  ar- 
rived on  the  evening  of  the  12th.  They  were 
couched  in  the  following  terms : — 

Naples,  October  g,  1815 
"  Ferdinand,  by  the  grace  of  God,  etc.  .  .  .  wills 
and  decrees  the  following: — 

"Art.  1.  General  Murat  is  to  be  tried  by  court- 
martial,  the  members  whereof  are  to  be  nominated 
by  our  Minister  of  War. 

"  Art.  2.  Only  half  an  hour  is  to  be  accorded  to 
the  condemned  for  the  exercises  of  religion. 

"  (Signed)     Ferdinand  " 

Another  despatch  from  the  minister  contained  the 
names  of  the  members  of  the  commission.  They 
were : — 

Giuseppe  Fosculo,  adjutant,  commander-in-chief 
of  the  staff,  president. 

Laffaello  Seal  faro,  chief  of  the  legion  of  Lower 

Latereo  Natali,  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  Royal 

Gennaro  Lanzetta,  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  En- 

W.  T.,  captain  of  Artillery. 


Frangois  de  Venge,  ditto. 

Francesco  Martellari,  lieutenant  of  Artillery. 

Francesco  Froio,  lieutenant  in  the  3rd  regiment 
of  the  line. 

Giovanni  della  Camera,  Public  Prosecutor  to  the 
Criminal  Courts  of  Lower  Calabria. 

Francesco  Papavassi,  registrar. 

The  commission  assembled  that  night. 

On  the  13th  October,  at  six  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing, Captain  Stratti  came  into  the  king's  prison; 
he  was  sound  asleep.  Stratti  was  going  away  again, 
when  he  stumbled  against  a  chair;  the  noise  awoke 

"What  do  you  want  with  me,  captain?"  asked 
the  king. 

Stratti  tried  to  speak,  but  his  voice  failed  him. 

"  Ah  ha !  "  said  Murat,  "  you  must  have  had 
news  from  Naples." 

"  Yes,  sire,"  muttered  Stratti. 

"  What  are  they?  "  said  Murat. 

"  Your  trial,  sire." 

"  And  by  whose  order  will  sentence  be  pro- 
nounced, if  you  please?  Where  will  they  find  peers 
to  judge  me?  If  they  consider  me  as  a  king,  I  must 
have  a  tribunal  of  kings;  if  I  am  a  marshal  of 
France,  I  must  have  a  court  of  marshals;  if  I  am  a 
general,  and  that  is  the  least  I  can  be,  I  must  have 
a  jury  of  generals." 



"  Sire,  you  are  declared  a  public  enemy,  and  as 
such  you  are  liable  to  be  judged  by  court-martial :  it 
is  the  law  which  you  instituted  yourself  for  rebels." 

"  That  law  was  made  for  brigands,  and  not  for 
crowned  heads,  sir,"  said  Murat  scornfully.  "  I  am 
ready;  let  them  butcher  me  if  they  like.  I  did  not 
think  King  Ferdinand  capable  of  such  an  action." 

"  Sire,  will  you  not  hear  the  names  of  your 
judges?  " 

"  Yes,  sir,  I  will.  It  must  be  a  curious  list.  Read 
it:  I  am  listening." 

Captain  Stratti  read  out  the  names  that  we  have 
enumerated.  Murat  listened  with  a  disdainful 

"  Ah,"  he  said,  as  the  captain  finished,  "  it  seems 
that  every  precaution  has  been  taken." 

"How,  sire?" 

"  Yes.  Don't  you  know  that  all  these  men,  with 
the  exception  of  Francesco  Froio,  the  reporter,  owe 
their  promotion  to  me?  They  will  be  afraid  of 
being  accused  of  sparing  me  out  of  gratitude,  and 
save  one  voice,  perhaps,  the  sentence  will  be  unani- 

"  Sire,  suppose  you  were  to  appear  before  the 
court,  to  plead  your  own  cause  ?  " 

"Silence,  sir,  silence!"  said  Murat.  "I  could 
not  officially  recognise  the  judges  you  have  named 
without  tearing  too  many  pages  of  history.     Such 



a  tribunal  is  quite  incompetent;  I  should  be  dis- 
graced if  I  appeared  before  it.  I  know  I  could  not 
save  my  life,  let  me  at  least  preserve  my  royal 

At  this  moment  Lieutenant  Francesco  Froio  came 
in  to  interrogate  the  prisoner,  asking  his  name,  his 
age,  and  his  nationality.  Hearing  these  questions, 
Murat  rose  with  an  expression  of  sublime  dignity. 

"  I  am  Joachim  Napoleon,  King  of  the  Two 
Sicilies,"  he  answered,  "and  I  order  you  to  leave  me." 

The  registrar  obeyed. 

Then  Murat  partially  dressed  himself,  and  asked 
Stratti  if  he  could  write  a  farewell  to  his  wife  and 
children.  The  Captain  no  longer  able  to  speak, 
answered  by  an  affirmative  sign;  then  Joachim  sat 
down  to  the  table  and  wrote  this  letter : — 

1  "  Dear  Caroline  of  my  Heart, — The  fatal 
moment  has  come :  I  am  to  suffer  the  death  penalty. 
In  an  hour  you  will  be  a  widow,  our  children  will 
be  fatherless :  remember  me ;  never  forget  my  mem- 
ory. I  die  innocent;  my  life  is  taken  from  me 

"  Good-bye,  Achille ;  good-bye,  Laetitia ;  good- 
bye, Lucien ;  good-bye,  Louise. 

"  Show  yourselves  worthy  of  me ;  I  leave  you  in 

1  We  can  guarantee  the  authenticity  of  this  letter,  hav- 
ing copied  it  ourselves  at  Pizzo,  from  the  Cavaliere 
Alcala's  copy  of  the  original. 



a  world  and  in  a  kingdom  full  of  my  enemies. 
Show  yourselves  superior  to  adversity,  and  remem- 
ber never  to  think  yourselves  better  than  you  are, 
remembering  what  you  have  been. 

"  Farewell.  I  bless  you  all.  Never  curse  my 
memory.  Remember  that  the  worst  pang  of  my 
agony  is  in  dying  far  from  my  children,  far  from 
my  wife,  without  a  friend  to  close  my  eyes.  Fare- 
well, my  own  Caroline.  Farewell,  my  children. 
I  send  you  my  blessing,  my  most  tender  tears,  my 
last  kisses.  Farewell,  farewell.  Never  forget  your 
unhappy  father,  Joachim  Murat 

"Pizzo,  Oct.  13,  181 5" 

Then  he  cut  off  a  lock  of  his  hair  and  put  it  in 
his  letter.  Just  then  General  Nunziante  came  in; 
Murat  went  to  him  and  held  out  his  hand. 

"  General,"  he  said,  "  you  are  a  father,  you  are 
a  husband,  one  day  you  will  know  what  it  is  to  part 
from  your  wife  and  sons.  Swear  to  me  that  this 
letter  shall  be  delivered." 

"  On  my  epaulettes,"  said  the  general,1  wiping 
his  eyes. 

"  Come,  come,  courage,  general,"  said  Murat ; 
"  we  are  soldiers,  we  know  how  to  face  death.  One 
favour — you  will  let  me  give  the  order  to  fire,  will 
you  not?  " 

1  Madame  Murat  never  received  this  letter. 


The  general  signed  acquiescence :  just  then  the 
registrar  came  in  with  the  king's  sentence  in  his 

Murat  guessed  what  it  was. 

"  Read,  sir,"  he  said  coldly;  "  I  am  listening." 

The  registrar  obeyed.     Murat  was  right. 

The  sentence  of  death  had  been  carried  with 
only  one  dissentient  voice. 

When  the  reading  was  finished,  the  king  turned 
again  to  Nunziante. 

"  General,"  he  said,  "  believe  that  I  distinguish 
in  my  mind  the  instrument  which  strikes  me  and 
the  hand  that  wields  that  instrument.  I  should 
never  have  thought  that  Ferdinand  would  have  had 
me  shot  like  a  dog;  he  does  not  hesitate  apparently 
before  such  infamy.  Very  well.  We  will  say  no 
more  about  it.  I  have  challenged  my  judges,  but 
not  my  executioners.  What  time  have  you  fixed 
for  my  execution?  " 

"Will  you  fix  it  yourself,  sir?"  said  the 

Murat  pulled  out  a  watch  on  which  there  was  a 
portrait  of  his  wife;  by  chance  he  turned  up  the 
portrait,  and  not  the  face  of  the  watch ;  he  gazed 
at  it  tenderly. 

"  See,  general,"  he  said,  showing  it  to  Nunzi- 
ante ;  "  it  is  a  portrait  of  the  queen.  You  know 
her;  is  it  not  like  her?  " 



The  general  turned  away  his  head.  Murat  sighed 
and  put  away  the  watch. 

"  Well,  sire,"  said  the  registrar,  "  what  time  have 
you  fixed  ?  " 

"  Ah  yes,"  said  Murat,  smiling,  "  I  forgot  why 
I  took  out  my  watch  when  I  saw  Caroline's  por- 

Then  he  looked  at  his  watch  again,  but  this  time 
at  its  face. 

"Well,  it  shall  be  at  four  o'clock,  if  you  like; 
it  is  past  three  o'clock.  I  ask  for  fifty  minutes.  Is 
that  too  much,  sir?  " 

The  registrar  bowed  and  went  out.  The  general 
was  about  to  follow  him. 

"  Shall  I  never  see  you  again,  Nunziante  ?  "  said 

"  My  orders  are  to  be  present  at  your  death,  sire, 
but  I  cannot  do  it." 

"  Very  well,  general.  I  will  dispense  with  your 
presence  at  the  last  moment,  but  I  should  like  to 
say  farewell  once  more  and  to  embrace  you." 

"  I  will  be  near,  sire." 

"  Thank  you.    Now  leave  me  alone." 

"  Sire,  there  are  two  priests  here." 

Murat  made  an  impatient  movement. 

"  Will  you  receive  them  ?  "  continued  the  general. 

"Yes;  bring  them  in." 

The  general  went  out.  A  moment  later,  two 


priests  appeared  in  the  doorway.  One  of  them 
was  called  Francesco  Pellegrino,  uncle  of  the  man 
who  had  caused  the  king's  death ;  the  other  was  Don 
Antonio  Masdea. 

"  What  do  you  want  here?  "  asked  Murat. 

"  We  come  to  ask  you  if  you  are  dying  a 

"  I  am  dying  as  a  soldier.    Leave  me." 

Don  Francesco  Pellegrino  retired.  No  doubt  he 
felt  ill  at  ease  before  Joachim.  But  Antonio  Mas- 
dea remained  at  the  door. 

"  Did  you  not  hear  me  ?  "  asked  the  king. 

"  Yes,  indeed,"  answered  the  old  man;  "  but  per- 
mit me,  sire,  to  hope  that  it  was  not  your  last  word 
to  me.  It  is  not  the  first  time  that  I  see  you  or  beg 
something  of  you.  I  have  already  had  occasion  to 
ask  a  favour  of  you." 

"What  was  that?" 

"When  your  Majesty  came  to  Pizzo  in  1810,  I 
asked  you  for  25,000  francs  to  enable  us  to  finish 
our  church.    Your  Majesty  sent  me  40,000  francs." 

"  I  must  have  foreseen  that  I  should  be  buried 
there,"  said  Murat,  smiling. 

"  Ah,  sire,  I  should  like  to  think  that  you  did  not 
refuse  my  second  boon  any  more  than  my  first 
Sire,  I  entreat  you  on  my  knees." 

The  old  man  fell  at  Murat's  feet. 

"  Die  as  a  Christian!  " 



"  That  would  give  you  pleasure,  then,  would  it  ?  " 
said  the  king. 

"  Sire,  I  would  give  the  few  short  days  remain- 
ing to  me  if  God  would  grant  that  His  Holy  Spirit 
should  fall  upon  you  in  your  last  hour." 

"  Well,"  said  Murat,  "  hear  my  confession.  I 
accuse  myself  of  having  been  disobedient  to  my 
parents  as  a  child.  Since  I  reached  manhood  I  have 
done  nothing  to  reproach  myself  with." 

"  Sire,  will  you  give  me  an  attestation  that  you 
die  in  the  Christian  faith  ?  " 

"  Certainly,"  said  Murat. 

And  he  took  a  pen  and  wrote :  "  I,  Joachim 
Murat,  die  a  Christian,  believing  in  the  Holy 
Catholic  Church,  Apostolic  and  Roman." 

He  signed  it. 

"  Now,  father,"  continued  the  king,  "  if  you  have 
a  third  favour  to  ask  of  me,  make  haste,  for  in  half 
an  hour  it  will  be  too  late." 

Indeed,  the  castle  clock  was  striking  half -past 
three.     The  priest  signed  that  he  had  finished. 

"  Then  leave  me  alone,"  said  Murat;  and  the  old 
man  went  out. 

Murat  paced  his  room  for  a  few  moments,  then 
he  sat  down  on  his  bed  and  let  his  head  fall  into  his 
hands.  Doubtless,  during  the  quarter  of  an  hour 
he  remained  thus  absorbed  in  his  thoughts,  he  saw 
his  whole  life  pass  before  him,  from  the  inn  where 



he  had  started  to  the  palace  he  had  reached;  no 
doubt  his  adventurous  career  unrolled  itself  before 
him  like  some  golden  dream,  some  brilliant  fiction, 
some  tale  from  the  Arabian  Nights. 

His  life  gleamed  athwart  the  storm  like  a  rain- 
bow, and  like  a  rainbow's,  its  two  extremities  were 
lost  in  clouds — the  clouds  of  birth  and  death.  At 
last  he  roused  himself  from  this  inward  contempla- 
tion, and  lifted  a  pale  but  tranquil  face.  Then  he 
went  to  the  glass  and  arranged  his  hair.  His  strange 
characteristics  never  left  him.  The  affianced  of 
Death,  he  was  adorning  himself  to  meet  his  bride. 

Four  o'clock  struck. 

Murat  went  to  the  door  himself  and  opened  it. 

General  Nunziante  was  waiting  for  him. 

"  Thank  you,  general,"  said  Murat.  "  You  have 
kept  your  word.  Kiss  me,  and  go  at  once,  if  you 

The  general  threw  himself  into  the  king's  arms, 
weeping,  and  utterly  unable  to  speak. 

"  Courage,"  said  Murat.  "  You  see  /  am  calm." 
It  was  this  very  calmness  which  broke  the  general's 
heart.  He  dashed  out  of  the  corridor,  and  left  the 
castle,  running  like  a  madman. 

Then  the  king  walked  out  into  the  courtyard. 

Everything  was  ready  for  the  execution. 

Nine  men  and  a  corporal  were  ranged  before  the 
door  of  the  council  chamber.    Opposite  them  was  a 



wall  twelve  feet  high.  Three  feet  away  from  the 
wall  was  a  stone  block:  Murat  mounted  it,  thus 
raising  himself  about  a  foot  above  the  soldiers  who 
were  to  execute  him.  Then  he  took  out  his  watch, 
kissed  his  wife's  portrait,  and  fixing  his  eyes  on  it, 
gave  the  order  to  fire.  At  the  word  of  command 
five  out  of  the  nine  men  fired:  Murat  remained 
standing.  The  soldiers  had  been  ashamed  to  fire  on 
their  king,  and  had  aimed  over  his  head.  That 
moment  perhaps  displayed  most  gloriously  the  lion- 
like courage  which  was  Murat's  special  attribute. 
His  face  never  changed,  he  did  not  move  a  muscle ; 
only  gazing  at  the  soldiers  with  an  expression  of 
mingled  bitterness  and  gratitude,  he  said — 

"  Thank  you,  my  friends.  Since  sooner  or  later 
you  will  be  obliged  to  aim  true,  do  not  prolong  my 
death-agonies.  All  I  ask  you  is  to  aim  at  the  heart 
and  spare  the  face.    Now " 

With  the  same  voice,  the  same  calm,  the  same 
expression,  he  repeated  the  fatal  words  one  after 
another,  without  lagging,  without  hastening,  as  if 
he  were  giving  an  accustomed  command;  but  this 
time,  happier  than  the  first,  at  the  word  "  Fire !  "  he 
fell  pierced  by  eight  bullets,  without  a  sigh,  without 
a  movement,  still  holding  the  watch1  in  his  left  hand. 

The  soldiers  took  up  the  body  and  laid  it  on  the 

1  Madame  Murat  recovered  this  watch  at  the  price  of 
200  louis. 



bed  where  ten  minutes  before  he  had  been  sitting, 
and  the  captain  put  a  guard  at  the  door. 

In  the  evening  a  man  presented  himself,  asking 
to  go  into  the  death-chamber:  the  sentinel  refused 
to  let  him  in,  and  he  demanded  an  interview  with 
the  governor  of  the  prison.  Led  before  him,  he 
produced  an  order.  The  commander  read  it  with 
surprise  and  disgust,  but  after  reading  it  he  led  the 
man  to  the  door  where  he  had  been  refused  entrance. 

"Pass  the  Signor  Luidgi,"  he  said  to  the  sentinel. 

Ten  minutes  had  hardly  elapsed  before  he  came 
out  again,  holding  a  bloodstained  handkerchief  con- 
taining something  to  which  the  sentinel  could  not 
give  a  name. 

An  hour  later,  the  carpenter  brought  the  coffin 
which  was  to  contain  the  king's  remains.  The 
workman  entered  the  room,  but  instantly  called  the 
sentinel  in  a  voice  of  indescribable  terror. 

The  sentinel  half  opened  the  door  to  see  what  had 
caused  the  man's  panic. 

The  carpenter  pointed  to  a  headless  corpse ! 

At  the  death  of  King  Ferdinand,  that  head,  pre- 
served in  spirits  of  wine,  was  found  in  a  secret  cup- 
board in  his  bedroom. 

A  week  after  the  execution  of  Pizzo  everyone 
had  received  his  reward:  Trenta  Capelli  was  made 
a  colonel,  General  Nunziante  a  marquis,  and  Luidgi 
died  from  the  effects  of  poison. 



This  book  is  DUE  on  the  last  date  stamped  below 


2  1  1961 

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20m-l,' 41(1122) 




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DEMCO  234N 




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